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Poll shows Japanese frosty toward Chinese
Updated: 2004-12-20 10:27

A new Japanese survey shows that people in Japan feel less friendly toward China than at any point in nearly 30 years, while friendliness toward South Korea has risen to its highest point, says the Kyodo news agency.

According to a Cabinet Office survey on diplomacy, the percentage of respondents who said they felt friendly toward China fell 10.3 percentage points from a year ago to 37.6 percent, the lowest level since the survey began in 1975, Kyodo said.

The percentage of respondents who said they did not feel friendliness toward China rose to 58.2 percent while those who thought that relations between Japan and China were good fell nearly 19 percentage points to 28.1 percent, Kyodo said.

The survey was conducted in October with responses from 68.9 percent of the 3,000 adults asked to take part.

The poll comes at a time when Sino-Japanese relations have been chilled by a series of spats including a dispute over Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's annual visits to Yasukuni Shrine, viewed by critics at home and abroad as a symbol of Japan's past militarism.

By contrast, the survey suggested that relations between Japan and South Korea were better than ever.

Friendliness toward South Korea rose 1.7 percentage point to a record 56.7 percent, and 55.5 percent of respondents said relations between Japan and South Korea were good.

A "Kanryu" (Korea-style) boom has gripped Japan recently, following the success of Korean soap operas aired on Japanese TV, making Korean actors and actresses celebrities in Japan.

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