Survey: Nearly 60% Suspect Foreign Countries Engage in ‘Information Manipulation’; Increase in AI-Generated Disinformation Reflected

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Foreign Ministry in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo

The percentage of people who suspect that foreign countries engage in “information manipulation” is 59.3%, according to a public opinion poll on foreign affairs released by the Foreign Ministry.

As the proliferation of AI-generated disinformation becomes more of an issue, an increasing number of people are thought to be wary of attempts by foreign countries to influence public opinion.

Of the 59.3% of respondents, 88.7% said they “verify,” or fact-check, information.

Regarding sources used to fact-check, with multiple answers allowed, 29% said “information from the Japanese government, including the Foreign Ministry” and 23.4% said “news reports in the Japanese press.”

When asked whether the security environment in East Asia has deteriorated, more than 80% of respondents agreed, with 51.3% answering “very much” and 32.9% answering “somewhat.”

The survey was conducted by telephone from March 16 to 20. A total of 700 men and women ages 18 and older nationwide responded to the survey.