Business / Economy

Ties with China 'more important' than Japan in America

By JACK FREIFELDER (China Daily) Updated: 2015-04-09 08:00

Americans prefer economic ties with China rather than Japan, said a poll conducted by Pew Research Center, a Washington-based think tank.

The poll of 1,000 adults in both the United States and Japan during a two-week period in February shows that 43 percent of Americans prefer economic ties with China, while 36 percent favor ties with Japan.

"Americans' views on the relative importance of economic ties with Japan and China divide along generational, racial and partisan lines," the report said. "In particular, young Americans believe it is more important to have a strong economic relationship with China. Less than half as many people 65 years of age and older agree."

Among millennials (individuals who reached adulthood around the turn of the 21st century) surveyed in the US, respondents between the ages of 18 and 29, 61 percent prefer that the US maintain ties with China versus 23 percent choosing Japan. Senior citizens were most likely to have the opposite view, with 46 percent favoring economic links with Japan, and 28 percent who said China.

Roughly one in every eight Americans said it was important to maintain economic relationships with both countries.

Sixty-eight percent of American respondents said the US can trust Japan a "great deal", while only 30 percent said the same of China, and 60 percent of US respondents said that the rise of China makes relations with Japan more important.

"American are pleased with the current state of US-Japan relations: More than eight in 10 prefer that ties between the two nations, remaining as close as they have been in recent years," the authors of the poll wrote. "The future of US-Japan relations will, in large part, be a product of bilateral economic interaction."

The Pew report said views about the relative importance of future economic ties could "reflect public perceptions of the current and future strength of each other's economies.

"A majority of Americans see Japan as a status quo economy, with 57 percent saying they believe Japan's economic power will stay about the same relative to other countries," the report said. "Just 28 percent view Japan as a rising economic power. Views of young Americans diverge from those of their elders, yet young Americans are also much more supportive of closer economic ties with China."

China is the second-largest trading partner with the US, and Japan is the fourth-largest.

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