Saudis are well-informed on topics related to Japanese anime and brands, but are less knowledgeable about other aspects of the country, according to an Arab News-YouGov poll.
The study found that nearly half of Saudis wrongly believe that technologically advanced Japan invented the camera, and more than four in 10 think the same about the mobile phone.
The poll, which surveyed 3,033 people across 18 countries in the Middle East, highlighted Arabs’ overall positive perceptions of Japan but revealed a number of misconceptions.
Significant numbers of Saudis wrongly believe that Japan created the personal computer (38 percent) and the LED light (29 percent), according to the survey.
By contrast, the number of Saudi respondents who knew that Japan gave the world the Walkman was only 24 percent.
Similarly, only 5 percent of Saudi respondents professed awareness that Softbank, the multinational conglomerate, is Japanese. Only 10 percent knew that Nintendo, the video game company, originated in Japan.
The study suggests many Saudis are also misinformed about Japanese politics — 38 percent believe that the country’s emperor signs laws, and 33 percent think Japan is a member of the UN Security Council.
In addition, 36 percent of Saudi respondents wrongly said Japan possesses nuclear weapons, and 76 percent did not know that its military is aligned with the US.