This paper presents some possible new ways to interpret the scaling of social capital and cross-national comparability of survey data. We argue that they are more sensitive to cultural differences of various countries, including Japan which is the main focus of this study. Among others, we think over the following question and give a possible answer to it: Social network is known to be closely related to good health. Why is the Japanese life span so long even though their social network is fairly limited ? We call attention to some data and knowledge on human relations which we have acquired through our past studies of cross-national and longitudinal surveys on national character. Finally we give some comments for policy-making on social capital in our aging society.
The impact of information and communication technologies (ICTs) on social capital have attracted much scholarly attentions for years; meanwhile, only a small number of research adopting regional communities as analyzing units have appeared in the literature. In the present article, the entire Kobe-city, one of the major cities in Japan, was exhaustively and mutually exclusively divided into 170 elementary school districts, and their regional properties were estimated by using the results of Japanese census, population statistics, and large-scale citizen-surveys conducted by the municipal government since 2005. These properties were then analyzed to examine the impact of the regional Internet usage on social capital. Regional internet usage rates did not have a statistically significant relationship with averaged sizes of residents' neighborhood networks, but they were negatively related to averaged scores of regional community engagement. On the basis of the analyses, implications of the relationships between Internet usage and regional social capital were discussed.
Since the mid-1990s, relationships between social capital and health have attracted great interdisciplinary interests. In this paper, the accumulated studies and criticisms of the vague concept of social capital and research methodologies are reviewed. In response to the criticism, researchers have conducted many studies to provide scientific evidence. For instance, the theoretical studies of the concept of social capital, the empirical studies which focus on the sub-categories of social capital, the analyses that use more objective health variables such as mortality, the multilevel analyses that consider the ecological fallacy by using the individual and community level variables simultaneously, and the intervention studies which examine the possibility of effects of the operations of social capital have been conducted in many countries, including Japan. Although, further studies are still needed to disclose the relationships of social capital and health, recent efforts are gradually revealing the mechanisms of how social capital influence health.
This paper is an attempt to clarify the impact of social capital on health, putting a particular emphasis on the social participation of the elderly citizens and their medical expenditures. Based on four national surveys (n =11,000) on social capital conducted by the Cabinet Office, the Japan Research Institute and one of the authors of this paper, we composed social capital index by prefecture. This index is correlated with labor participation rate of prefecture. The higher the social capital index is, the higher the labor participation rate is. In addition, higher labor participation rate corresponds with lower per capita medical expenditure for the elderly. This correlation is also found in the analysis based on a regression analysis of 1,817 municipalities. According to the regression, one percentage point increase in the labor participation rate of the elderly corresponds with a 6,014 yen reduction of per capita medical expenditure of the elderly.
Social capital, both at an individual and a community level, has received attention as a determinant of health behavior. In this study the authors analyzed regional differences of health behaviors and social capital, and their relationship at an individual level, focusing on the M-region in Aichi Prefecture. The result revealed that the elderly in the M-region tended to exhibit better health behaviors and richer social capital. Although some of the social capital indices showed significant associations with the health behaviors at an individual level, this might only explain a part of the differences we observed in health behaviors between the M-region and the other region. We then discussed the role of social capital at a community level to explain the better health behaviors that occur in the M-region, and proposed the importance of sha-en (social relations with co-workers or business partners), as a more fundamental local condition for ‘a healthy neighborhood’.
This article discusses two important problems of area sampling in public opinion surveys. The first revolves around the weighting that should be done to obtain unbiased estimates by correcting for the unequal selection probabilities in households of different size. In practice, many Japanese surveys omit such weighting. When the response rate is low, analyses showed that weighted data had an effect on the proportions of other demographics. The second revolves around the residential map itself. The currency of the residential map is extremely important because of its effect on the response rate and survey quality. Despite the relatively low population mobility in the area of the present survey, there were some changes due to persons moving in and out. Therefore, the residential map must be updated with current information prior to the fieldwork.
The purpose of this research was to make a big five personality inventory for children(LittleBigFive). The 815 pupils answered provisional inventory, and the 29 teachers rated pupil's personality in their classroom. The items were selected on the teacher's rating and of the factor loading. The factor analysis of 30 items was assumed to be the final solution. The coefficents of α were 0.654-0.704, and test-retest reliability were 0.770-0.847. The correlation of the teachers rating to pupils answers were 0.230 in E, 0.330 in A, 0.159 in C, 0.140 in N, 0.190 in O. Afterwards, the frequency scale and the problem-aggression scale were added to the LittleBigFive, which became 47 items in total. The 158 university students answered both to the BigFive and the LittleBigFive, the concurrent validities were 0.888 in E, 0.705 in A, 0.880 in C, 0.901 in N, and 0.787 in O.
The House of Representatives General Election held on September 11th of 2005, handed the Liberal Democratic Party(LDP) an overwhelming victory after a long drawn out political campaign. However, as regards to the informed or qualified voter, it had almost seemed impossible for a choice enthusiast to vote for the LDP on the basis of their policies. Therefore, this report argues that a distinction must be made between a qualified voter with real choice and that of one with limited political voter choice. It also aims to classify people of electoral limitedness in an election for policy enthusiasts, on the basis of political party choice with conjoint analysis. Although the immediate objectives of the electoral result cannot be established with certainty, it is highly likely that the outcome was as a result of an election based on limited choice by a qualified voter, with little or no political affiliation to the LDP.