China / Society

Poll reveals worsening public opinion of Japan

(China Daily) Updated: 2012-12-27 00:02

Negative public opinion toward Japan reached new highs in China this year, according to a new survey, as analysts urged closer communication between the two nations.

The survey, by China's Horizon Research Consultancy Group, revealed that 87 percent of Chinese had a negative opinion of Japan against the 65.9 percent figure recorded in the same survey in 2011.

Commenting on the findings, Yang Bojiang, a professor of Japanese studies at the University of International Relations in Beijing, blamed the rising concern on the growing right-wing political agenda in Japan.

Japan's illegal "purchase" of China's Diaoyu Islands and the insistence of a visit to the Yasukuni Shrine by Japanese politicians had also raised public concern in China, leaving many to question whether Japanese aggression would continue to threaten peace and stability in East Asia.

"People have to ask: 'Is Japanese society becoming more conservative and less open, and will it hold a friendly attitude toward its neighbors in the future?'" he added.

According to the Japanese Cabinet Office's own annual survey, in November, 80.6 percent said they felt no friendship for China, an increase of 9.2 percent compared with last year, Japan's Jiji Press News Agency said.

"Only more communication can resolve problems over China-Japan ties. With communication, both countries can understand the strategic intention of each other and remove misunderstandings," Yang said.

The survey ― which polled a sample of 3,091 18 to 65 year olds in 10 main Chinese cities including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou ― showed that Russia is still considered the most friendly country to China, with 30.5 percent of the respondents chose Russia.


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