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Only 16% of Japanese trust Korea: Yomiuri-Gallup survey

Only 16% of Japanese trust Korea: Yomiuri-Gallup survey

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Published : 2013-12-17 20:21
Updated : 2013-12-17 20:21

A new survey in Japan has found that just 16 percent of Japanese citizens trust South Korea. They also ranked South Korea the third-highest military threat to the country behind China and North Korea.

The Yomiuri Shimbun said Monday that its joint survey of members of the public in Japan and the United States with Gallup found that 72 percent of Japanese respondents did not trust South Korea.

The figure apparently reflects South Korea’s criticism of Japan over historical and territorial issues, the newspaper said.

However, Americans who trust South Korea outnumbered those who do not at 57 percent to 41 percent.

Regarding China, 88 percent of Japanese respondents said they did not trust China, a higher number than 66 percent of Americans. Only 5 percent of Japanese said they trust China to some extent. Americans who trust China overwhelmed Japanese respondents at 32 percent to 5 percent.

Japanese respondents ranked China (78 percent), North Korea (74 percent), South Korea (45 percent) and Russia (40 percent) as military threats to Japan.

It was the first time since the series of joint surveys was first conducted in 2000 that South Korea was perceived as more threatening than Russia to Japan. In 2006, just 20 percent of Japanese regarded South Korea as a military threat.

Americans cited the Middle East (75 percent), North Korea (66 percent) and China (62 percent) as military threats.

Asked about Japan-China relations, 87 percent of Japanese said they were “poor” or “very poor,” up 2 percentage points from the previous survey conducted in January. It was the highest level recorded in the joint surveys.

The newspaper said that the number reflected dispute with China over territorial issue in the East China Sea.

However, just 20 percent of Americans regarded U.S.-China relations as “good” or “very good,” while 55 percent said they were “just fair.”

The survey was conducted around the time China unilaterally established an air defense identification zone in the East China Sea on Nov. 23.

By Chun Sung-woo (swchun@heraldcorp.com)

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