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Why Japanese are not familiar with SDGs?

Hi it’s Takashi from a business team!

Today, I would talk about SDGs especially in Japan. This topic may be frequently discussed , however, I would talk about this from my perspective.


Before moving on to it, I would tell the why I started this internship at sureco. When I was in the Netherlands as an exchange student, I studied SDGs and circular economy. To be honest, I never heard about “SDGs” before, but while studying, realized that we need to be aware of this concept and it’s related everything around us. After I came back to Japan in March 2020, I was surprised since Japanese people are not really familiar with SDGs and there are lots of friends around me who don’t know even the word”SDGs”. Then I decided to do something I can do for that and joined su-re.co as an business intern.


After my story, I wondered how much Japanese people are not aware of SDGs. This is the graph of survey taken by WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM.

 "Global Survey Shows 74% Are Aware of the Sustainable Development Goals"-WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM News release-

According to this survey, 74% of adults globally are aware of SDGs however, Japan rank lowest in terms of familiarity, with 51% having never heard of them.

I considered and researched about this, “Why Japanese are not aware of SDGs?” My conclusion for this question can be two answers. They are “language” and “National character.”

Firstly, Japanese use Chinese literature and they are not familiar with alphabet. Only because SDGs is written in alphabet, many Japanese regards it as difficult to understand and don’t try to know that. However, China rank 4th of top, so it’s not only because the language they use, but can be related to more about the level of English.

Second reason is more convincing for me. That is national character based on demographical characteristics. In my opinion, Japanese has conservative personality since Japan is Maritime nation and not close to many other counties. As you know,SDGs is basically global issue, and Japanese people are not aware of such global issue based of their personality. This can be said about the UK as well since the UK ranked in the low rank.


However, this survey was taken in 2019, and we hear and see lots of "SDGs" in Japan these days. I hope more Japanese are aware of this global issue now, and start to take action!


Thank you and see you next blog!




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