NEW YORK -- Japan is seen by the American public as the most important Asian partner for the United States, said a US annual survey released Thursday.
The survey, entitled the "US Image of Japan Study," is conducted by the US Gallup Organization earlier this year.
According to the telephone poll, 43 percent of 1,500 American adults in a "general public" category considered Japan the "most important partner of the US in the Asian region."
The figure was down from 48 percent in 2007, the survey said.
It also polled 250 "opinion leaders" in the fields of government, business, academia, mass media, religion and labour unions. About 54 percent of the group named Japan as the top US partner in Asia.
About 67 percent of respondents in the general public category said yes when asked if Japan is a "dependable ally or friend," down from a record high of 74 percent registered in 2007.
Of the opinion leaders group, 92 percent saw Japan as dependable, the survey said.