Diaoyu Islands

Less Japanese view China positively: poll

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 24 November, 2012, 7:23pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 24 November, 2012, 7:28pm

A Japanese government survey has found less than one in five people feel positively towards China, a record low as the countries are embroiled in a bitter territorial row, reports said on Saturday.

Eighteen per cent of people polled said they had a positive view of China, the lowest figure since the survey was first conducted in 1978, Jiji Press and Kyodo News agencies said.

It was 8.3 percentage points down from last year, the agencies said.

Japan’s ties with China have soured due to a row over disputed islands in the East China Sea, which Tokyo controls and calls the Senkakus but Beijing claims as the Diaoyus.

Tokyo nationalised some of the islands in mid-September, sparking a wave of sometimes violent anti-Japanese demonstrations across China that targeted Japanese businesses.

Jiji quoted the foreign ministry as saying the poor poll result was believed to have stemmed from the anti-Japan rallies as well Chinese ships repeatedly entering waters near the islands.

Japan has also been at odds with South Korea over a group of Seoul-controlled islets between the two countries, called Dokdo in Korea and Takeshima in Japan.

The survey found the number of people who feel friendly towards South Korea dived 23 points to 39.2 per cent, the reports said.

The poll, conducted between September 27 and October 7, quizzed 3,000 adults across Japan, of whom 61.3 per cent gave valid answers.