Journal article Open Access

Few Youngsters Would Follow Snowden's Lead in Japan

Murata, K.; Fukuta, Y.; Orito, Y.; Adams, A. A.

Purpose – This study deals with the attitudes towards and social impact of Edward Snowden's revelations in Japan, taking the Japanese socio-cultural and political environment surrounding privacy and state surveillance into account. Design/methodology/approach – A questionnaire survey of 1820 university students and semistructured follow-up interviews with 56 respondents were conducted, in addition to reviews of the literature on privacy and state surveillance in Japan. The outcomes of the survey were statistically analysed and qualitative analyses of the interview results were also performed. Findings – Snowden's revelations have had little influence over Japanese youngsters' attitudes toward privacy and state surveillance, mainly due to their low level of awareness of the revelations and high level of confidence in government agencies. Practical implications – The study results imply a need for reviewing educational programmes for civic education in lower and upper secondary education. Social implications – The results of this study based on a large-scale questionnaire survey indicate an urgent necessity for providing Japanese youngsters with opportunities to learn more about privacy, liberty, individual autonomy and national security. Originality/value – This study is the first attempt to investigate the social impact of Snowden's revelations on Japanese youngsters' attitudes toward privacy and state surveillance as part of crosscultural analyses between eight countries. This record was migrated from the OpenDepot repository service in June, 2017 before shutting down.

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