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 user 2005-09-16 at 11:03:00 am Views: 94
  • #12477

    Wealth ‘empowers’ East Asians

    East Asians from wealthy countries are more likely to feel they have control over their lives, a new poll suggests.

    Those from South Korea, Japan and Singapore feel they have the most power to alter their own destiny.

    In contrast, those surveyed in Vietnam, one of East Asia’s poorest
    countries, feel there is very little they can do to change their own

    Gallup International questioned nearly 9,000 people in East Asia for the BBC’s Who Runs Your World? survey.

    Respondents were asked who had power over their lives, who they trust and if they have the power to change their own lives.

    The BBC World Service commissioned the Gallup International Voice of
    the People 2005 poll of more than 50,000 people in 68 countries.

    Nationalism is an important part of the East Asian identity: More than
    a third of those surveyed found it more important than religion,
    ethnicity or continent.

    In South Korea, 73% of respondents considered their nationality more important than anything else.

    Lack of trust

    In terms of who they trust, East Asians are more likely to look up to
    intellectuals, journalists and religious leaders than the military and
    business elite.

    That is apart from the Japanese, who appear to trust virtually no-one.

    Over 70% of the Japanese surveyed do not trust either military,
    religious, business or political leaders – perhaps surprising when you
    consider the fact that the ruling Liberal Democratic party has been in
    power almost continuously for the last 50 years.

    Democracy does not appear to be alive and well in the region.

    Fewer than 30% of East Asians believe that their country is governed by the will of its people.

    This is even more remarkable when you consider that people from some of
    the least democratic countries – such as Burma, North Korea and China -
    were unable to take part in the surveY