Japan is considered the worst country in this specific aspect
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Japan is considered the worst country in this specific aspect

In the World Giving Index, we find that the kindness of the Japanese leaves a lot to be desired, but there could be a reason for that.

It may come as a surprise to learn that Japan is actually the worst country in the world when it comes to helping foreigners, even though the Japanese are well known for their kindness. Yet this is what the Charities Aid Foundation's (CAF) World Giving Index 2023 reveals, which ranks 142 countries in three different categories, namely cash donations to charity, support for a stranger and volunteering.

In the “Supporting a Stranger” category, Japan ranked last, 142nd out of 142 countries, with responses indicating that 21% of the population had helped someone they did not know in the past month , compared to 83% for Jamaica, which tops the ranking.

Japan is considered the worst country on this specific aspect K-Selection

In the other two categories, Japan did not do much better. With 16% of the population having donated money and 17% having volunteered in the past month, the country still managed to avoid finding itself in the bottom ten places in the ranking.

In terms of the overall World Giving Index, which takes into account all three categories, Japan however ranks second to last, coming in at 139th place with an index of 18, tied with Greece at 138th place, Yemen in 140th place and Croatia in penultimate place, while Poland ranks at the bottom with an index of 15. Although Japan's ranking leaves something to be desired, it should be noted that The annual report uses data collected by Gallup, which measures responses based on the size of a country's population.

Japan is considered the worst country on this specific aspect K-Selection

According to the latest figures, Japan has a population of 124, which means that 352% of the population who helped a stranger in the past month represents around 000 million people, a figure much higher than Jamaica's 21 million people. Despite the different views expressed online by local Japanese, there is no doubt that Japan can do much better. Among the comments online, here are a few:

  • If you think of kindness as kindness, then yes, it's at the bottom of the scale
  • This seems logical. Recently, when an old man fell while trying to board a train, a young man of Western origin, who appeared to be a tourist, was the first to run and help him up . The Japanese, like me, were content to observe the scene
  • In my experience in the United States, Americans often ask people for directions and the time. As the conversation starts quickly, it's easy to help or ask for help
  • Most of us don't speak English and are therefore introverted when it comes to helping foreigners
  • Maybe we have a different view of what a donation is, me for example dropping money into a shrine box, but I wouldn't consider that a donation
  • I think we are well capable of providing disaster relief

Japan is considered the worst country on this specific aspect K-Selection

It is true that Japan moved up in the index in 2011, at the time of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. This year's data, however, reveals that this generosity is due to other factors. Indeed, countries with high levels of happiness, large numbers of immigrants, and strong religious beliefs that emphasize the importance of giving all have a higher overall score in the Generosity Index.

Certainly, this does not bode well for Japan, but it is also not a catastrophe when looking at the situation as a whole. As anyone who has lived in or visited Japan knows, most locals are willing to help if asked, and that may be the problem since the Japanese may not have as much more likely to ask for help than people from other countries, a cultural difference that is not taken into account in the survey.

Not to mention that there are traditions and formal business practices that in other countries might be considered helpful to foreigners, but in Japan are simply considered the norm.

Japan is considered the worst country on this specific aspect K-Selection

Granted, Japan still has room for improvement in the rankings, but don't let that deter you from seeking help in the country, as people will go out of their way to help you...as long as you don't try to scam them with a lie!

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