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55% say Japan-US relations 'good'

Publication Date : 16-12-2013

 

Fifty-five per cent of Japanese believe relations between Japan and the United States are good, the highest figure since 2000, according the latest joint survey conducted by The Yomiuri Shimbun and Gallup.

The joint opinion survey, which has been conducted by phone since 2000, was carried out between November 18 and 24. In Japan, 1,004 randomly selected people responded to the survey. In the United States, 1,005 responded.

Twenty-one per cent of Japanese respondents answered that Japan-US relations were “poor” or “very poor,” down from 27 per cent in the previous survey in January, while 13 per cent of US respondents gave the same answer, up from 9 per cent in the earlier poll.

Forty-eight per cent of US respondents said they believe the bilateral relations were “good” or “very good”, down from 52 per cent in the January poll, in which 50 per cent of Japanese said relations were “good” or “very good”.

The percentage of Japanese respondents who evaluated the Japan-US relationship highly exceeded the US figure for the first time since 2000.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration has strengthened the alliance between the two nations, while the US security presence has increased as Japan faces tension with China over the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture.

Such elements likely boosted the figure among the Japanese respondents seeing the bilateral relationship with the United States favorably.

The latest survey was conducted around November 23, when China established an air defense identification zone in the East China Sea that includes the Senkakus.

Regarding the relationship with China at present, 87 per cent of Japanese polled said it was “poor” or “very poor”, up from 85 per cent in the previous survey and the worst since 2000.

The poll, on the other hand, revealed only 21 per cent of US respondents gave the same answer, up from 20 per cent.

Asked how much they trust China, 88 per cent of Japanese respondents said “not at all” or “not very much”, the same as the previous poll, while 66 per cent of Americans polled chose the same answer, up from 63 per cent in the January survey.

Asked which country, the United States or China, will be more politically important to Japan in the future, 65 per cent, up from 59 per cent, of Japanese respondents chose the United States, while 22 per cent, down from 26 per cent, replied otherwise.

Asked which country, the United States or China, will be more economically important to Japan in the future, 44 per cent, up from 33 per cent, of Japanese polled chose the United States, while 43 per cent, down from 54 per cent, answered otherwise.

The percentage of Japanese who placed more economic importance on the United States surpassed that of those who picked China for the first time since 2000, highlighting a tendency among Japanese to place China at a distance.

Regarding South Korea, which continues to have problems with the so-called comfort women issue, 72 per cent of Japanese respondents said they did not trust the country at all or not very much, while only 16 per cent said they trusted the nation “very much” or to some extent.

The same survey showed 57 per cent of Americans polled said they trusted South Korea “very much” or to some extent, surpassing 41 per cent of US respondents who said they did not trust the country at all or did not trust it very much.

 

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