Our Man doesn't believe in polls. Sure, they exist and all, but so do weather stories - they are there to fill the void between the adverts in the paper on slow news days. Case in point: The Nikkei in a hardhitting report (er, regurgitated news release) has UNCOVERED THE TRUTH - Japanese worry alot. In fact more than any other nation, apparently. In fact, in fact, in fact, everyone is scared shitless about the current global and/or domestic situations and/or the living conditions of their families.
Er, well folk were seriously miffed about the "fiscal deficit," "safety of the food supply," "unemployment" and "global warming," all categories in which Japan's percentage exceeded the global average. "Concern about macroeconomic matters was notable," screams the Nikkei.
Meanwhile, the Japanese anxiety rates were below the global averages for such matters as "the war in Afghanistan," "food prices" and "gasoline prices."
So is Japan quaking or not? Our Man guesses not. Later in the article we learn the survey was "conducted from spring through summer, targeting 11 countries. This is the first time Japan was included in the poll. The figures for Japan are based on valid responses from 500 people age 20 or older by JWT, a major New York-based ad agency and group firm of U.K. advertising giant WPP plc."
Ah-huhh. So, it's dated, over-simplified and from a tiny control group, probably done on the cheap by folk in a call centre somewhere where there ain't no better jobs. Oh, and written by non-journos. Type in the words "Ann Mack, director of trendspotting at JWT" (Anxious Annie is the PR bod who generated this nonsense) and "anxiety" into Google, and you get 70,800 links.
Seems the boss makes a good living worrying about anxiety.
Wanna stop worrying? Stop reading crap.