The Nippon Foundation Paralympic Research Group (RGP) announces the Survey Results on the General Public's Awareness and Interest in the Paralympics in Japan and in some selected countries

The Nippon Foundation Paralympic Research Group (RGP), with the cooperation of Sasakawa Sports Foundation, carried out opinion surveys from September to October 2014 in a total of six countries including Japan, Germany, United States, South Korea, France, and Australia, in order to grasp what degree of awareness and interest in the Paralympics there is in society. Here we introduce an overview of the surveys, which covered 4,000 people in total; 1,500 in Japan and 500 respectively in the five overseas countries.
Detailed survey result data are published separately, so please refer to those data in conjunction with this.


1. Awareness and interest in the Paralympics

The term "Paralympics" is prevalent in Japan (98.2% of respondents recognized it), which is a leading level worldwide. However, a correct understanding of what the Paralympics entails is yet to catch on. In other countries, the ratio of respondents with a correct understanding of what sorts of disabilities Paralympic participants have was low across the board as well. Trends that were detected included a large number of respondents in the United States who mistakenly believed the Paralympics do not include participation by the visually impaired, and a large number of respondents in France, South Korea, and Germany who, like Japanese respondents, had the misconception that the Paralympics include participation by the hearing impaired.
In Japan the ratio of respondents who had come into contact with reports on the Paralympics through the media was 90.1%, a high ratio compared to other countries. On the other hand, the number who said they had viewed videos that were broadcast etc. online was only around half the six-country average.
In South Korea, Australia, and the United States, many respondents said they had come into contact with (Paralympic reports) online. Of the six countries, in addition to online broadcasts, South Korea also had the largest number of respondents who obtained information through online articles other than newspapers and videos. In the United States, Germany, and Australia, many respondents had no experience of coming into contact with the Paralympics in any media whatsoever, but notably, among younger respondents, the degree of contact through the Internet and newspapers was comparatively high.

In all countries, substantial biases were evident when it came to the broadcasted Paralympic sports events that respondents watched. On average, across the six countries surveyed, the events that respondents revealed watching the most were wheelchair basketball, athletics, swimming, wheelchair tennis, and alpine skiing, in that order.

2. Expectations for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games (survey covered Japan only)

61.3% of respondents said they hope to watch events broadcast by the media, a figure that exceeds the ratio hoping to watch broadcasted Olympic events. The ratio of respondents saying they hope to watch events directly, at the venues, was around half the ratio who gave a similar response regarding the Olympics.
27.1% of respondents said they hope to participate in the Paralympics as volunteers, and the majority said they want to volunteer at both the Olympics and the Paralympics.
Among younger respondents, the desire to take part was strong among men in particular. On the other hand, among respondents in their 40s, the desire to participate was low for both men and women.
51.1% of respondents said they anticipate that holding the Paralympic Games in Tokyo will result in "More sports opportunities and an enhanced environment for people with disabilities." The ratio who said they anticipate "Progress with making public facilities and other venues barrier-free" was also high, at 48.9%. These responses were followed by the expectation the Paralympics will lead to "The promotion of understanding regarding welfare for the disabled," and of the four possible answers, the expectation that "The number of medals won by Japan will increase" scored the lowest, at 38.5% (multiple answers were possible).
Even among respondents in their 20s, who revealed a relatively high expectation toward medal-winning, the ratio who said they anticipated "an enhanced sporting environment for people with disabilities" and "a move to make public facilities and other venues barrier-free" exceeded the ratio saying they expect "the number of medals Japan wins to increase."

If utilizing or reprinting the contents of this survey report, please clearly state that the surveys were carried out by the Nippon Foundation Paralympic Research Group (RGP), and provide the RGP with a copy of the published item.