How did the Japanese public react to Kim Jong Il's death?

Kichiro Arai, Masaru Kohno, Shin Toyoda*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


We present a comprehensive evidence on how the Japanese reacted to the sudden death of North Korea's Kim Jong Il in December 2011, which was an event of enormous significance for Japan's national security. Based on our original, partially panel-structured, multi-wave monthly surveys conducted from December 2011 to March 2012, we analyze how the Japanese learned about his death, how they formed evaluations about its implication, and how their perceptions changed over time. Our findings illustrate that Japan's general public reacted in a remarkably calm and balanced way to the evolving situation, pointing to a basic sense of realism that underlies their attitudinal orientation toward North Korea. This sense, we argue, derives from the confidence widely held in Japan that, while North Korea remains one of the crucial sources of external threats, its overall ability to influence the regional and international dynamics is limited and its threat thus containable within current framework of national security.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberlcs012
Pages (from-to)125-153
Number of pages29
JournalInternational Relations of the Asia-Pacific
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Jan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • Political Science and International Relations


Dive into the research topics of 'How did the Japanese public react to Kim Jong Il's death?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this