World / Asia-Pacific

Territorial, historical issues plague China-Japan public opinion

By ZHANG YUNBI ( Updated: 2015-10-22 19:04

Territorial issues are the main concern of both Chinese and Japanese citizens, according to the results of a survey unveiled on Thursday.

When asked about "the major issue obstructing the development of bilateral ties", 66.4 percent of those surveyed in China and the 56 percent of those surveyed in Japan said "territorial disputes", according to the annual 11th China-Japan Public Opinion poll released in Beijing.

In comparison to last year, "the lack of mutual trust between governments" has replaced "the history issue" as the second major concern of Japanese citizens surveyed.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe released a statement on behalf of his cabinet on August 14 to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II but it drew widespread criticism because he failed to apologize for Japan's wartime atrocities and he only stated that his cabinet will inherit the positions of past cabinets.

According to the poll, 74.1 percent of those surveyed in China said they are "totally not satisfied" or "not very satisfied" with the Japanese leader's statement.

Another issue that has caused turbulence in relations between Beijing and Tokyo, According to the poll, were visits by leading Japanese politicians to the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo, which honors the memory of 14 Class-A convicted war criminals.

More than 70 Japanese lawmakers visited the shrine earlier this month. Abe did not visit but delivered a ritual offering to the shrine.

This year, 60.2 percent of those surveyed in China believe that "a visit to the shrine shouldn't occur no matter what kind of position is held".

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