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COVID 2021 Survey Result

Problems and Anxieties of non-Japanese Residents living in Japan during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Cross-sectional Survey

Abstract

Background

During COVID-19, Japan has taken measures varying from national lockdowns to targeted quarantine and social distancing and declared a healthcare emergency for all residents; therefore, it is of the utmost importance to understand the implications of these restrictions on the health and well-being of foreign communities in Japan.

Objectives

We aimed to identify the anxieties and life problems of non-Japanese residents living in Japan (especially in Nagasaki City) during the COVID-19 pandemic in efforts to launch the Problem Solution Website including suggestions or consultations on their troubles and worries.

Results

We conducted a cross-sectional and web-based survey using a questionnaire in 13 available languages from January to March 2021 of non-Japanese residents who were living in Japan during the (ongoing) COVID-19 pandemic. 359 valid responses were collected. 47.4% of participants were residing in Nagasaki city. More than 25% of people reported Japanese communication as a barrier to their daily life communication. 36.5% of the participants reported having troubles/difficulties with learning or at work and 32% reported to feeling discriminated against for being a non-Japanese resident. Not many participants reported problems with losing jobs (12.8%), however, 47.1% reported a decrease in the overall financial stability of their household. The overall emotional health, mental health, physical health, and sexual satisfaction were less than before in up to one-third of the participants; however, the majority remained the same as before. Parents perceived that their children's overall emotional health was most affected, indicated by 20.0% of children feeling less happy and 12.2% of children suffering a decline in mental health compared with before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Conclusion

During the (ongoing) COVID-19 pandemic, non-Japanese residents living in Japan were affected in many aspects of their life.

Key statistics

  • 47.4% of participants were residing in Nagasaki city. The highest response rate was from students (58.1%).
  • More than 25% of people reported the Japanese language skills as a barrier to communication in their daily life communication.
  • The majority (75.8%) of respondents obtained COVID-19 information from the TV, newspaper, magazine, or internet.
  • Regarding desired information on COVID-19 in their native language, the majority of participants (63.5%) wanted to know what to do if they developed a suspected COVID-19 symptom.
  • 36.5% of the participants reported having troubles/difficulties with learning or at work and 32% reported to feeling discriminated against for being a non-Japanese resident.
  • Approximately 50% of participants reported a decrease in their personal income and their communication with their neighbors or friends, while they increased the time of playing games or spending time on a smartphone or watching TV and spent less time on physical activities or doing exercise.
  • Not many participants reported problems with losing jobs (12.8%), however, 47.1% reported a decrease in the overall financial stability of their household.
  • The overall emotional health, mental health, physical health, and sexual satisfaction were less than before in up to one-third of the participants; however, the majority remained the same as before.
  • Parents perceived that their children's overall emotional health was most affected, indicated by 20.0% of children feeling less happy and 12.2% of children suffering a decline in mental health compared with before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Summarised Survey Result Data

1. Language link distribution (Answer for questionnaire)

The survey provided 13 languages in the questionnaire so that respondents could choose their most comfortable one.

Key findings

● Nearly half of the respondents preferred to use Chinese or Korean in this survey.

2. General information of participants

Key findings

● Majority (90%) of participants were 18-44 years of age, and the highest response rate was from students (58.1%).
● Almost a half (47.4%) of the respondents were residing in Nagasaki City.
● Two thirds of participants reported having resided in Japan for at least 3 years. The majority could speak Japanese proficiently.

3. Connection with family

The survey asked respondents regarding the location of other family members.

Key findings

● The majority of respondents reported that other family members resided in their home country (83.5%).
● 7.6% of respondents reported they did not have other family members
● 8.9% of respondents reported their other family members were in Japan.

4. Network information

The survey asked respondents:
• whether they had a network of support under COVID-19,
• how they obtained information on COVID-19,
• what information they wanted to have in their native language.

Key findings

  • The majority of respondents (88.4%) reported to have someone to share their problems with.
  • Their mother was the person they shared their problems with the most (63.1%). 51.4% of participants reported they turn to a friend in their home country.
  • 75.8% of respondents said they obtained information regarding COVID-19 from the TV, newspaper, magazine, or internet. The second most popular source was social media (58.7%). The third was through family in their home country (35.1%).
  • Many respondents wanted to know the information regarding COVID-19, like what to do when having a suspected symptom (5%), hotspot (50.3%), and what to do when having other illnesses (47.9%). Also, financial assistance-related information is important for them (49.7%).
※Social media: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc.
※Public information: visiting office, magazines, website

Desired information in their native language (n=340)

(multiple answers allowed)
Information related to COVID-19
What to do in case I have suspected symptom of COVID-19
64%
What to do in case of illness other than COVID-19 in this COVID-19 period
52%
Where the COVID-19 hotspots are
50%
Financial assistance-related COVID-19
50%
The infection-control situation of COVID-19
48%
General information
What to do in case of disaster
38%
What to do when going to hospitals/clinics
45%
How to go back to the home country
31%
Specific comments
- Vaccination
- Criteria for COVID-19 testing etc.

5. Personal problems/difficulties

The survey asked respondents about recent problems.

Key findings

  • More than one third of the participants responded that they had problems/difficulties with learning or at work (36.5%) .
  • Almost one third of them reported feeling discriminated against for being a non-Japanese resident (32.0%).
  • Only a few of the participants reported problems concerning losing jobs (12.8%).
→ While less respondents face big problems like violence or unemployment, over one-third of them experience some problems /difficulties in daily life. Participants need information related daily life problems/difficulties; therefore, we will upload some information not only about COVID-19.

Recent/current problems

Feeling more spiritually/religiously active (n=344)
34
310
Being sexually harassed (n=349)
7
342
Having domestic violence at home (n=353)
1
352
Losing job (n=344)
44
300
Feeling racially discriminated (n=338)
108
203
Having troubles with learning or working (n=345)
126
129
Having a family member with suspected COVID-19 infection but could not get a test (n=353)
10
343
Having a family member with confirmed COVID-19 (n=356)
14
342

6.Overall health and financial status

The survey asked respondents about health conditions and financial problems.

Key findings

  • The overall emotional health, mental health, physical health, and sexual satisfaction were less than before in up to one third of the participants; however, the majority remained the same as before.
  • 47.1% of participants reported a decrease in the overall financial stability of the household.
→ Almost a half of respondents faced financial problems under COVID-19 pandemic; therefore, participants need information related to financial support. We will upload some information not only about COVID-19, but also financial support.

7. Children problems

Survey asked respondents about their children’s health conditions as perceived by parents.

Key findings

  • Only 15.7% of respondents had 1 or more children living in the same household.
  • The children's overall emotional health as perceived by their parents was that 20.0% of children felt less happy while 12.2% of children suffered a decline in mental health compared with before the COVID-19 pandemic.
→ The COVID-19 infection has affected children's health, including mental, physical and emotional health. We also need to provide some useful information on matters regarding children.

Full Survey Report

Medical Question
The full report is available for download in PDF format.
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