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Home » Archives » December 2004 » Japanese Feel Less Friendly Towards China

Japanese Feel Less Friendly Towards China

Sunday, December 19, 2004 Posted: 08:32 AM JST

Japanese friendship towards China fell to its lowest level in 30 years a Cabinet Office survey showed Saturday. Over the past year it fell 10.3 points to 37.6 percent. The previous low was 39.4 percent in 1996. Another neighbor however, saw a record high: 56.7 percent of Japanese say that they feel good about South Korea. It tops the previous record of 55.5 percent set last year. The high figure reflects the "South Korea boom" which was ignited after a South Korean drama series became extremely popular in Japan.

The sharp drop in friendly feelings towards Japan is being attributed to China's continued criticism of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's visits to Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo. Soldiers who fought in Japan's wars, including Class A war criminals of WWII, are enshrined here. Another important factor appears to be the strong anti-Japanese sentiments Chinese displayed at the Asian Cup soccer tournament in August which even erupted into riots. Several Japanese exchange students were also attacked while in China.

The percentage of Japanese who perceive Japan-China relations as "good" showed an even greater decline, diving from 46.9 percent to 28.1 percent.

Feelings towards the United States hardly changed and continued to be high. Some 71.8 percent of respondents said they feel friendship towards the US, only slightly down by 4.0 points. Feelings of friendliness toward Russia decreased a similar percentage, from 20.0 percent to 16.3 percent.

In spite of the decreased friendliness towards China, a majority believes that Japan's economic future lies here instead of in Europe and the United States. When asked which area of economic cooperation Japan should put priority on, a majority said Northeast Asia, which includes China and South Korea.

The survey was conducted in October on 3,000 men and women aged 20 and above. Of the total, 68.9 percent responded.

Keywords: national_news diplomacy international relations

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3 comments so far post your own

1 | At 03:52pm on Jan 01 2005, maria fuerst wrote:
consider if the germans frequented the "eagle's nest" otherwise known as Hitler's mountain retreat and honoured Hitler himself. I doubt that the high numbers of Jewish community would approve of that. The things that were happening in Asia, believe it or not (if you have read any first hand accounts in history books), were worse than what happened in the concentration camps in Europe. There are always logical reasons why the majority of a country feels the way they do, and this is one of them.
2 | At 03:26am on Feb 17 2005, reptile_k wrote:
Agree with the previous commentator, but hey, this survy is on Japanese people's feelings towards China, not vice versa.

Chinese and Korean are definately the top two peoples that were worst brutalized during the war and therefore bear a strong dislike(if not hatred) toward Japan.

They are equally irritated by the Prime Minister's vist to Yasukuni Shrine and both protested very hard against the visit. But what's very INTERESTING, though, is that disliked by both Korean and Chinese, Japanese like Korean like never before while dislike Chinese like never before.

If you know the sky-rocking crimes committed by Chinese immagrants (both legal and illegal)in Japan, you'll know why.
3 | At 04:42pm on Sep 22 2007, subaru steering rack wrote:
in top of this, Japanese and China i guessed will reconcile themselves as well.
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The now legendary Sir Ernest Mason Satow (1843-1929) was a member of the British legation in Tokyo for twenty-one years. This classic book is based on the author's detailed diary, personal encounters, and keen memory. In it, Satow records the history of the critical years of social and political upheaval that accompanied Japan's first encounters with the West around the time of the Meiji Restoration. Fascinating.
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