Japanese Crisis Triggers Some Anxieties among Minorities of Americans

    NEW YORK, N.Y. – April 14, 2011 – The accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has sent modest ripples of anxiety through the United States. Thirteen per cent of all adults are very concerned that dangerous levels of radiation will reach this country, and a further 35% are somewhat concerned. Fifteen percent of adults are very concerned that events in Japan will damage the U.S. economy.

    These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,483 adults surveyed online between April 8 and 12, 2011 by Harris Interactive.

    Other interesting results include:

    • More women (17%) than men (9%) are very concerned about dangerous radiation reaching the U.S. or are very or somewhat concerned (55% vs. 40%);
    • More than one third of the public would advise a friend planning a trip to Japan to cancel it (38%) and almost half (47%) would tell them to postpone it. Only 14% would advise their friend to go ahead with the trip as planned;
    • While only 15% are very concerned that the crisis in Japan will cause a damaging economic slump here in the United States, fully 67% are very or somewhat concerned;
    • Many people would be somewhat (10%) or much (30%) less likely to buy raw fish such as sushi or sashimi if it came from Japan however only 10% of all adults would be less likely to eat in Japanese restaurants; and
    • A 45% plurality believe that if a huge earthquake occurred in the United States the public would behave worse here than the Japanese have behaved; only 12% believe Americans would behave better than the Japanese have.

    So What?

    These results suggest that most Americans have been watching events in Japan and are somewhat (but not very) concerned that they may be affected. The 45% to 12% plurality who think that Americans would not behave as well as have the Japanese in the event of a huge earthquake reflects the respect that many people feel for how the Japanese people (but not necessarily their government or power company) have behaved since their devastating earthquake and the Tsunami.

     

     

     

    TABLE 1

    CONCERN ABOUT RADIATION FROM JAPAN REACHING THE UNITED STATES

    How concerned are you, if at all, about dangerous levels of radiation as a result of Japan’s nuclear crisis reaching the United States?

    Base: All adults

     

    Total

    Gender

    Education

    Male

    Female

    H.S. or less

    Some college

    College grad+

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    Concerned (NET)

    48

    40

    55

    51

    50

    42

    Very concerned

    13

    9

    17

    15

    14

    9

    Somewhat concerned

    35

    31

    39

    35

    36

    33

    Not concerned (NET)

    52

    60

    45

    49

    50

    58

    Not very concerned

    33

    33

    33

    35

    31

    32

    Not at all concerned

    19

    26

    12

    15

    19

    26

    Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

     

     

    TABLE 2

    ADVICE FOR PEOPLE PLANNING A TRIP TO JAPAN

    If you had a friend who was planning a trip to Japan would you advise them to…?

    Base: All adults

     

    Total

    Gender

    Education

    Male

    Female

    H.S. or less

    Some college

    College grad+

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    Postpone it

    47

    47

    48

    44

    47

    51

    Cancel it

    38

    33

    43

    46

    38

    28

    Go ahead with it

    14

    20

    9

    10

    15

    21

    Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

     

     

    TABLE 3

    ADVICE FOR PEOPLE PLANNING A TRIP TO ASIA

    If you had a friend who was planning a trip to Asia but not specifically to Japan, would you advise them to…?

    Base: All adults

     

    Total

    Gender

    Education

    Male

    Female

    H.S. or less

    Some college

    College grad+

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    Go ahead with it

    45

    57

    33

    33

    48

    60

    Postpone it

    36

    29

    43

    44

    35

    26

    Cancel it

    19

    14

    24

    24

    18

    14

    Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

     

     

    TABLE 4

    CONCERN ABOUT RECENT EVENTS IN JAPAN CAUSING AN ECONOMIC SLUMP IN THE UNITED STATES

    How concerned are you, if at all, that what’s happened recently in Japan will cause a damaging economic slump in the United States?

    Base: All adults

     

    Total

    Age

    Gender

    Education

    18-34

    35-44

    45-54

    55+

    Male

    Female

    H.S. or less

    Some college

    College grad+

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    Concerned (NET)

    67

    62

    63

    69

    72

    64

    70

    70

    67

    62

    Very concerned

    15

    12

    18

    21

    14

    13

    18

    18

    15

    11

    Somewhat concerned

    52

    50

    45

    49

    59

    51

    52

    52

    52

    51

    Not concerned (NET)

    33

    38

    37

    31

    28

    36

    30

    30

    33

    38

    Not very concerned

    27

    30

    28

    28

    24

    28

    26

    25

    27

    31

    Not at all concerned

    6

    8

    9

    3

    4

    8

    3

    5

    6

    7

    Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

     

    TABLE 5

    CHANGE IN LIKLIHOOD OF PURCHASING VARIOUS ITEMS FROM JAPAN

    As a result of what’s happened recently in Japan, are you more or less likely to purchase each of the following from Japan?

    Base: All adults

     

    More likely (NET)

    Much more likely

    Somewhat more likely

    Less likely (NET)

    Somewhat less likely

    Much less likely

    No change

    NA – I do not purchase these items

    Fish for raw consumption (e.g. sushi, sashimi)

    %

    4

    2

    2

    40

    10

    30

    17

    39

    Electronics (e.g computers, digital cameras)

    %

    7

    4

    4

    16

    9

    7

    71

    6

    Cars

    %

    6

    3

    3

    14

    7

    7

    58

    22

    Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

     

    TABLE 6

    CHANGE IN LIKLIHOOD OF EATING IN JAPANESE RESTAURANTS

    Again, as a result of what’s happened recently in Japan, are you now more or less likely to eat at a Japanese restaurant?

    Base: All adults

     

    Total

    Age

    Gender

    Education

    18-34

    35-44

    45-54

    55+

    Male

    Female

    H.S. or less

    Some college

    College grad+

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    More likely (NET)

    4

    8

    5

    2

    1

    7

    2

    4

    4

    6

    Much more likely

    2

    4

    2

    1

     

    3

    1

    1

    2

    3

    Somewhat more likely

    3

    5

    4

    1

    1

    4

    2

    3

    3

    3

    Less likely (NET)

    10

    7

    10

    11

    11

    10

    9

    10

    10

    9

    Somewhat less likely

    5

    5

    4

    4

    5

    6

    4

    4

    5

    6

    Much less likely

    5

    2

    5

    6

    6

    5

    5

    6

    5

    3

    No change

    53

    55

    56

    49

    53

    58

    48

    14

    54

    67

    NA – I do not eat in Japanese restaurants

    33

    29

    29

    38

    35

    25

    41

    43

    32

    19

    Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

     

    TABLE 7A

    HOW WOULD GROUPS IN THE U.S. HANDLE A CRISIS COMPARED TO JAPAN

    If we had a huge earthquake in the United States do you think that the following groups would handle the crisis better or worse than Japan did?

    Base: All adults

     

    Better

    Worse

    No difference

    Not at all sure

    The electric power companies

    %

    24

    23

    28

    25

    The government

    %

    21

    30

    27

    22

    The public

    %

    12

    45

    24

    18

    Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

     

     

    TABLE 7B

    HOW WOULD GROUPS IN THE U.S. HANDLE A CRISIS COMPARED TO JAPAN

    If we had a huge earthquake in the United States do you think that the following groups would handle the crisis better or worse than Japan did?

    Summary of those saying better

    Base: All adults

     

    Total

    Age

    Gender

    18-34

    35-44

    45-54

    55+

    Male

    Female

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    The electric power companies

    24

    20

    20

    24

    29

    27

    21

    The government

    21

    18

    21

    21

    24

    22

    20

    The public

    12

    13

    12

    12

    13

    15

    10

    Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

     

     

    Methodology

    This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between April 8 to 12, 2011 among 2,483 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.

    All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words margin of error as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

    Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the Harris Interactive panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

     

    These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

     

    The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion without the prior written permission of Harris Interactive.

     

    The Harris Poll ® #48, April 14, 2011

    By Humphrey Taylor, Chairman, The Harris Poll

    About Harris Interactive

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