The Japan Youth Research Institute sent questionnaires to 6,600 high school students of Japan, the United States, China and South Korea between September and November.
The results, released on March 26, showed Japanese students have a much lower drive to succeed than students of the other three countries.
"(The findings show) that they may think it is enough just to get a job," an institute official said. "The weak economy may have contributed to (the results)."
According to the survey, 37 percent of Chinese students, 30 percent of U.S. students and 19 percent of South Korean students strongly hope they will be professionally successful, while only 9 percent of Japanese students hope for the same.