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Japanese General Social Survey (JGSS), 2003 (ICPSR 4242)

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This survey was designed to solicit political, sociological, and economic information from people living in Japan. Respondents were queried on crime and the judicial system, and more specifically, on issues such as the death penalty, juvenile punishment, and whether respondents were victims of various crimes within the last year. Questions on family issues covered topics such as divorce, the health of respondents' marriages, the roles of each spouse, and issues involving children. Questions on finances included the state of respondents' finances during the last few years and compared to other Japanese families both past and present, whether the income tax rate was high, and the ease of improving one's standard of living in Japan. Political questions addressed government spending, the responsibility of the government, and whether respondents would vote for a female gubernatorial candidate. Also, respondents were asked to rate their political views on a scale from conservative (1) to progressive (5). In terms of health, questions were asked on the health of respondents and their spouses, the topic of euthanasia, organ donation cards, and the frequency of smoking and alcohol consumption. Quality of life questions addressed the frequency with which respondents read the newspaper and watched television, the amount of satisfaction respondents received from life, and how often respondents participated in leisure activities like fishing, jogging, and mahjong. Respondents were asked to give their opinions concerning extra-marital affairs, sexual relations between two adults of the same sex, pornography, and prostitution. Information gathered on religion included the extent of their participation in a particular religion, whether respondents believed in life after death, and views on burial. Respondents were polled for information regarding their social status and whether respondents were members of any groups including religious, trade, or social service organizations. Respondents were also asked about the frequency of use of the English language. Demographic information includes age, sex, employment status, marital status, household income, and religious orientation.

Series: Japanese General Social Surveys (JGSS) Series

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DS1:  English Data - Download All Files (77.2 MB)
DS2:  Japanese Data - Download All Files (76.4 MB)

Study Description


Tanioka, Ichiro, Noriko Iwai, Michio Nitta, and Hiroki Sato. Japanese General Social Survey (JGSS), 2003. ICPSR04242-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2005-09-30. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR04242.v1

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This study was funded by:

  • Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (Japan)
  • Osaka University of Commerce (Japan)
  • University of Tokyo. Institute of Social Sciences

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   age, alcohol consumption, capital punishment, career history, child care, crime, death, demographic characteristics, divorce, domestic responsibilities, education, euthanasia, family history, foreigners, gender issues, government, homosexual relationships, income, job satisfaction, labor unions, leisure, life satisfaction, marriage, morality, political affiliation, prostitution, religion, sexual preference, shopping, social classes, taxes, voting behavior, workplaces

Geographic Coverage:   Global, Japan

Time Period:  

  • 2003

Date of Collection:  

  • 2003-10-20--2003-11-30

Unit of Observation:   individuals

Universe:   Men and women aged 20-89 living in Japan with the right to vote.

Data Types:   survey data

Data Collection Notes:

JGSS data and the supporting documents are provided both in English and Japanese for the convenience of users of either language. The JGSS is conducted in the Japanese language. The English version of the questionnaires and datasets have been constructed for the convenience of researchers. This is to remind all users of the English version of the JGSS datasets and questionnaires that the nuanced meanings conveyed in the original language may not be contained in the English version of the questionnaires and datasets.

More information about Japanese General Social surveys can be found on the Japanese General Social Survey Web site.


Sample:   Two-stage stratified random sampling, stratified by six regional blocks and population size, in 13 major cities, other cities, and towns and villages.

Weight:   A weight variable with two implied decimal places has been included and must be used in any analysis.

Mode of Data Collection:   computer-assisted personal interview (CAPI), self-enumerated questionnaire, telephone interview

Response Rates:   The total response rate was 51.5 percent. The response rate for form A was 55 percent. The response rate for form B was 48 percent.

Presence of Common Scales:   Several Likert-type scales were used


Original ICPSR Release:  

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