This report deals with various issues regarding the “post-COVID-19 era,” coined as such on account of its social, political, and economic impacts. The world is changing in a new direction, which signifies a metamorphosis of the global society. This report draws on the World COVID-19 Pandemic and Citizen Life Survey conducted between the 23rd of April and the 5th of June 2020 with 15.312 respondents. The sample was collected via a Computer Assisted Web Interview (CAWI) applying the stratified sampling method. As a global survey, this report outlines the responses of citizens from 30 cities, and the questions focus on their responses to COVID-19, their varying behavior in the course of the pandemic, their confidence in authorities, their support and/or opposition for stringency measures, and their political attitudes. In this particular file, the case of Tokyo will be presented. For more detailed survey results, please refer to the attached file.
Review of COVID-19 Pandemic
- Overall, the respondents of Tokyo followed all individual quarantine guidelines well.
- Meanwhile, Tokyo respondents reported being most actively involved in wearing masks (4.51/5) to prevent infection of COVID-19.
- When asked about the economic consequences of the pandemic, 25.6% of the Tokyo respondents said they would lose more than half of their income if they were to experience a 14-day-quarantine. The global average for the same figure was 30%.
- The Tokyo respondents experienced a different degree of the following social impacts: medical appointment difficulties (17%), school closings (29%), and workplace closings (24%). The proportion of Tokyo respondents experiencing these situations was significantly smaller than the global average.
Anxiety and Hope
- If they were infected, the Tokyo citizens surveyed would feel more anxious about the impacts on their families (4.14/5) than the world average (3.46/5) and would feel more worried about the impact on their friends (4.07/5) than the global average (3.38/5).
- 81% of the Tokyo respondents said they would feel anxious if they bumped into someone not wearing a face mask. The global average for the same figure was 69%.
- Tokyo respondents reported feeling depressed (2.72/4), restless with their sleep (2.99/4), and lonely (2.98/4) at this time during the pandemic. It was characteristic that Tokyo respondents experienced a higher average degree of negative emotions than the global average during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- In regard to their sense of hope about the future, a large proportion of Tokyo respondents (37.72%) said they have “Never” felt hopeful about the future during the pandemic. In comparison, only 11.25% of the global citizens answered the same way.
Citizen’s evaluation of government COVID-19 policies
- Tokyo respondents on average gave their own government’s COVID-19 management performance a score of 3 points out of 5. The global average was 3.43.
- When asked to give a score to each government, the Tokyo respondents gave Taiwan the highest score of 4.06 out of 5 and Brazil the lowest score of 1.88 out of 5.
- Concerning five aspects of COVID-19 management policies (providing information on testing and the prevention of the epidemic, providing medical care assurance for patients, preventing the spread of infectious diseases, ensuring the emotional stability of the public, and ensuring medical staff safety), it was characteristic that the Tokyo respondents were less satisfied with all aspects than the global average.
- In general, the Tokyo respondents were less likely to agree with school closings, more likely to agree with an entry ban of foreigners, and more likely to agree with an internal moving ban than the global average.
- Among the four stringency measures (school closings, closing of worship places, an entry ban of foreigners, and an internal moving ban), Tokyo respondents agreed with school closings the least (3.14/4).
Democracy or Authoritarianism
- On a scale of 1 to 4 with higher scores indicating a higher degree of satisfaction with their government, the Tokyo respondents on average rated their satisfaction level 2.63 for human rights and 2.48 for democracy.
- We then asked Tokyo citizens their opinions about emergency measures. On a scale of 1 to 10 with higher scores indicating a stronger belief that emergency measures will move the society more toward a democratic society, Tokyo respondents scored 5.38 out of 10, while global citizens scored 5.52 out of 10.
- Regarding COVID-19 risk management, the Tokyo respondents were on average in favor of citizens' judgments over government decisions.
- Nevertheless, the Tokyo respondents supported rule by order more than supported rule of law.
Priorities of Quarantine Governance
- Tokyo respondents’ level of support for prioritizing basic civil rights in COVID-19 management was 4.24 out of 10 on average, while the world average was 4.45.
- Tokyo respondents’ level of agreement that economic recovery is more important than social distancing was 4.54 out of 10. The world average was 4.65.
Impacts of the Global Pandemic on National Level Consequences
- Regarding the national economy, 76% of the Tokyo respondents said the COVID-19 pandemic has had a “Quite large negative impact” or a “Severe negative impact.” In comparison, the global average for this figure was 76.7%.
- As for social trust, 61.7% said the pandemic has had a “Quite large negative impact” or a “Severe negative impact.” The global average for this figure was 56.1%.
- In the case of living standards, 68.7% said the pandemic has had a “Quite large negative impact” or a “Severe negative impact.” The global average for this figure was 65.4%.
- On the quality of democracy, 52.3% said that the pandemic has had a “Quite large negative impact” or a “Severe negative impact.” The global average for this figure was 45.5%.
- The Tokyo respondents reported trusting their family members (3.45/4) the most, followed by their colleagues (2.8/4), their neighbors (2.63/4), and immigrants (1.88/4).
- Concerning the various institutions providing COVID-19 information, the Tokyo respondents reported an irrespective lower level of trust than the global average.
Fairness and Representation
- When considering the fairness of income distribution, Tokyo respondents ranked 11th place out of 28 cities with a fairness perception score of 4.88 out of 10.
- When considering the fairness of educational opportunity, Tokyo respondents ranked 15th place with a fairness perception score of 5.62.
- When considering the fairness of gender relations, Tokyo respondents ranked 25th place with a fairness perception score of 4.9.
- When considering the fairness of political participation, Tokyo respondents ranked 16th place with a fairness perception score of 5.37.
- When considering the fairness of minority rights, Tokyo respondents ranked 24th place with a fairness perception score of 5.04.
- When considering the fairness of public debate, Tokyo respondents ranked 28th place with a fairness perception score of 4.3.
- When considering the fairness of representation of political parties, Tokyo respondents ranked 25th place with a fairness perception score of 3.99.
- Contrary to our expectations, the fairness perception scores in most items reported by Tokyo respondents surprisingly ranked at the bottom of the 28 countries.
- On a scale of 1 to 5 with higher scores indicating a higher frequency of communication with their acquaintances (family members, colleagues/customers, neighbors), the Tokyo respondents on average scored the frequency 3.21 with family members, 2.12 with colleagues/customers, and 2.51 with neighbors. The respective world average scores were 3.21, 2.59, and 2.57.
- Tokyo respondents’ level of frequency of using SNS to communicate was 3.54 out of 4 and level of frequency of using messengers to communicate was 3.22 out of 4. In comparison, the respective world average scores were 3.34 and 3.38.
- We then asked how often global citizens discussed about COVID-19. We provided a 4-point scale with higher scores indicating higher frequency. Tokyo respondents scored 3. In comparison, the global average was 3.21.
Human Life after COVID-19
- On a scale of 1 to 4 with higher scores indicating more agreement that the “community is doomed to lose its function,” Tokyo respondents scored 2.42. As for the statement “We don’t need community. Individual freedom is enough,” Tokyo respondent scored 2. The respective global averages were 2.54 and 2.29.
- Tokyo respondents’ average degrees of agreement to the following statements predicting what the future will be like after the pandemic, “The future cannot be predicted,” “The life will be more unstable,” and “We should realize the fundamental uncertainty of life,” were 7.42/10, 6.25/10, and 5.92/10. The respective global averages were 6.95, 6.28, and 5.26.