“Trust” in Crisis

Future Risk of a Society of Distrust

Trust between people is gradually wavering.

1 Emerging changes in
personal relationships

The long-term decline in the population means that you will have fewer people within your sphere of life.More sei-katsu-sha remain single nowadays, and spend less time on personal interaction. Literally, physical distancing has been progressing as people are missing opportunities to connect with others.

Share of single-member households
Percentage of people who at 50 had never married
Time spent for personal interactions

People now have different views on the importance traditionally placed on close personal relationships, including through work and marriage. The diversification of values, coupled with less desire for close relationships, has resulted in deepening psychological distancing.

Values regarding work and marriage
Attitudes to spending time alone
Attitudes to personal relationships

2 Emerging changes in ways of

The rapid penetration of social media since the 2010s has resulted in the dissemination of individual Sei-katsu-sha’s information in various forms—text, photos and videos. While bringing more convenience and fun, the dissemination and visualization of personal information create larger-than-life identities of the senders, often creating friction.

Data traffic in Japan
Reality and attitudes to Internet use
Attitudes to information
Cases of flaming in Japan

We have traditionally emphasized meeting in person to deepen mutual understanding and facilitate smooth communication. However, the digital transformation and teleworking during the pandemic are driving us toward remote, noncontact communication on a daily basis. Although our interlocutors are still visible, we increasingly feel there is not enough information to understand them(because we do not share the same space).

Reality and intention of teleworking (Person with a job)
Disadvantages/inconveniences of teleworking (TOP 5 answers)

Wavering trust
Rising risk of society of distrust

Changes in personal relationships

・Reduced opportunities to build personal relationship
・Passing up opportunities to build personal relationships

Changes in ways of communicating

・Too-visible information from invisible people
・Invisible information from visible people


Encouraging misunderstanding,
confrontation and division among people

Difficulty of noticing,
or being noticed by others

Sensitivity to differences with others
Can easily guess what they are thinking and why

Do not understand others
Do not know how others see me


Society where people struggle to build trust
Risk of becoming a society of distrust

It seems that the ongoing changes in personal relationships and ways of communicating will make it harder than ever to connect with, and understand others.

Under these circumstances, sei-katsu-sha will increasingly feel forced to choose:
Egoism over altruism;
Confrontation over coordination; and
Division over solidarity.

This will cause a loss of trust among sei-katsu-sha.
In other words, we may be moving toward a society where people struggle to build trust, or what might be called a
society of distrust.

How can we address this potential risk of becoming a society of distrust?
Considering the future of trust is about finding possible solutions to social issues of the future.