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Half Chinese not feel "close" with Japanese
Updated: 2004-11-29 00:17

More than half of the Chinese people do not feel close with their neighbor Japan, mostly because Japan has not "seriously reflected" on its invasion of China five decades ago, according to a survey made by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS).

The report, released by the CASS Institute of Japanese Studies at its official Website Monday, says that 31.2 percent of Chinese "do not feel close" with Japanese and 22.4 percent feel" very much unneighborly."

Of those, 26 percent said they felt the way they did because Japan had invaded China, while 61.7 percent said that it was because, after five decades, Japan has still made no serious self- examination of its invasion.

"Compared with the previous survey, we saw an obvious increase in the percentage of Chinese who feel distant from Japan psychologically," said Jiang Lifeng, director of the institute. " The main cause is the events in Japan that have harmed Chinese feelings in recent years."

Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi Junichiro have visited Yasukuni Shrine honoring World War II criminals for four consecutive years.

About 42 percent of those surveyed said Japanese Prime Minister should not do it at any time while 5 percent said it was Japan's own business.

In the first survey made by the institute in 2002, 43.3 percent people said they felt not close or unneighborly with Japan, 10.3 percentage points lower than this year's figure, Jiang said.

And those who felt close or very close with Japan saw a slight growth from 5.9 percent two years ago to 6.3 percent now, the report said.

The institute sampled 3,300 people nationwide in September and October this year and received 2,987 valid questionnaires. Almost 900 people wrote short notes about Japan and relations between the two countries.

These notes included both criticism of Japan for its past and present behavior and the strong expectation of establishing friendly relations between the neighboring countries, Jiang said.

"There are both great difficulties and strong drives in Sino- Japan relations, which is the reality that the two countries must take seriously," Jiang said.

Most Chinese decided their attitude towards Japan from a historical perspective, some from political and economic concerns and very few are based on personal feelings, Jiang said.

Only 0.7 percent of people feeling unneighborly with Japan was because they themselves or their family and friends had unhappy experiences with Japanese, the report said.

Some 31.2 percent of those feeling neighborly with Japan said it was because Japan has modern technology and a strong economy while 25.3 percent said it was because the two countries has a long history of friendly exchanges.

Others had friends or family members in Japan, had visited Japan themselves or had Japanese friends.

"It is notable that five of the surveyed, all in their twenties, said they did not feel neighborly with Japan because the Japanese looked down on the Chinese. This was not found in the first survey, " Jiang said.

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