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Japan-ROK joint poll: Gulf deepens over past, but both nations hope for better relations

  • 2015-06-22 15:00:00
  • , Asahi
  • Translation

(Asahi: June 22, 2015—pp. 12-13)

 

 June 22 marks the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty on Basic Relations between Japan and the Republic of Korea. On this occasion, the Asahi Shimbun and the Dong-A Ilbo, a South Korean newspaper, conducted a joint public opinion survey to probe public attitudes in both countries. The Japanese and South Korean public’s impressions of each other have gone from bad to worse due to the cooling of ties between the two nations, and there is a wide gap between their perceptions on historical issues. However, the survey results also showed that experiencing each other’s cultures and visiting each other’s countries have given the people of the two countries more favorable images of each other.

 

 Questions & answers (%)

 Figures rounded off, with parenthesized figures denoting the results of the joint survey conducted in 2010.

 

 Q: [Japan] Do you support the Abe cabinet?

 

Yes

50

No

41

 

Q: [Japan] Which political party do you support now?

 

Liberal Democratic Party of Japan (LDP or Jiminto)

37

Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto)

8

Japan Innovation Party (JIP or Nippon Ishinnoto)

5

Komeito (K or Komeito)

4

Japanese Communist Party (JCP or Kyosanto)

4

Party for Future Generations (PFG or Jisedainoto)

0

Social Democratic Party (SDP or Shaminto)

1

People’s Life Party (PLP or Seikatsunoto)

0

Assembly to Energize Japan (AEJ or Nippon o Genkinisurukai)

0

New Renaissance Party (NRP or Shinto Kaikaku)

0

Other political parties

0

None of the above (NOTA)

40

No answer (N/A) + don’t know (D/K)

1

 Q: [Japan] To what extent are you satisfied with your life now?

 

Very

3

(2)

Somewhat

52

(46)

Not very

34

(38)

Not at all

10

(13)

 Q: [Japan & ROK] This year marks the 50th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between Japan and South Korea. Did you know this?

 

Japan

ROK

Yes

42

31

No

58

69

 Q: [Japan & ROK] Do you like South Korea (Japan)?

 

Japan

ROK

Yes

10(18)

5

No

26(10)

50

Neither "yes" nor "no"

62(71)

43

 Q: [Japan & ROK] Has your image of South Korea (Japan) improved, worsened, or remained unchanged over the past five years?

 

Japan

ROK

Improved

4

4

Worsened

54

59

Unchanged

41

33

 Q: [Japan & ROK] To what extent do you feel close to South Korea (Japan) and its people?

 

Japan

ROK

Very

2

3

Somewhat

26

26

Not very

49

41

Not at all

18

24

 Q: [Japan] What do you like about South Korea. Pick as many as you like from among those listed below.

 

Food culture

42

History, tradition

14

Nature

5

Automobiles

1

Smartphones, personal computers

3

Home electronics

2

Movies, dramas

27

K-pop

11

Anime, manga

0

Athletes

6

Fashion, beauty culture

10

Nothing in particular

34

 Q: [Japan & ROK] What has affected your image of South Korea (Japan)? Pick up to two from among those listed below.

 

Japan

ROK

Media

78

65

School education

15

34

Friends, acquaintances

16

21

Family

10

8

Actual visit

15

23

 Q: [Japan] What media has had the greatest influence on your image of South Korea?

 

Newspapers

10

Television

68

Magazines

1

Books

1

Internet

9

Movies

4

 Q: [Japan & ROK] Do you think Japan and South Korea are now getting along well with each other?

 

Japan

ROK

Yes

7(33)

3(29)

No

86(57)

90(56)

 Q: [Japan & ROK] Which phrase do you think best describes relations between Japan and South Korea?

 

Japan

ROK

Countries that closely cooperate with each other in various areas

8

9

Countries that are very interactive with each other

12

8

Countries that are in a minimal relationship

57

42

Countries that are at odds with each other

15

34

 Q: [Japan & ROK] Would you like Japan-ROK relations to improve?

 

Japan

ROK

Yes

64

87

Not really

30

10

 Q: [Japan] In 1910, Japan annexed South Korea. Thereafter, Japan ruled the Korean Peninsula as its colony until 1945. Did you know this?

 

Yes

69

No

26

 Q: [Japan & ROK] The next question concerns past issues between Japan and South Korea. Do you think issues of the past, including Japan’s colonial rule, have already been settled?

 

Japan

ROK

Yes

49(39)

2(3)

No

42(52)

95(94)

 Q: [Japan & ROK] Do you think Japan has now apologized enough for its annexation of South Korea and its colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula in the past?

 

Japan

ROK

Yes

65(55)

1(1)

No

20(30)

96(97)

 Q: [Japan & ROK] Do you think Japan should reconsider compensation for the victims of colonial rule?

 

Japan

ROK

Yes

20(30)

89(89)

No

69(57)

6(8)

 Q: [Japan & ROK] The next question concerns the comfort women issue. To what extent do you think it is important to resolve this issue in order for Japan and South Korea to improve their relations?

 

Japan

ROK

Very

11

73

Somewhat

42

22

Not very

28

2

Not at all

11

0

 Q: [Japan & ROK] The Japanese government takes the position that the question of compensation for former comfort women was been legally settled under the 1965 Treaty on Basic Relations between Japan and the Republic of Korea and other bilateral arrangements. Do you support this standpoint of the Japanese government? <The ROK government takes the position that the comfort women issue was not discussed in negotiations over the Treaty on Basic Relations between Japan and the Republic of Korea and that the issue has been left unsettled. Do you support this standpoint of the ROK government?>

 

Japan

ROK

Yes

74

78

No

14

14

 Q: [Japan & ROK] The ROK government has been asserting that the comfort women issue was not discussed in negotiations over the Treaty on Basic Relations between Japan and the Republic of Korea and other bilateral arrangements and that the issue and that the issue has been left unsettled. Do you think this assertion by the ROK government is convincing? <The Japanese government has been asserting that the question of compensation for former comfort women was legally settled under the 1965 Treaty on Basic Relations between Japan and the Republic of Korea. Do you think this assertion by the Japanese government is convincing?>

 

Japan

ROK

Yes

11

6

No

77

89

 Q: [Japan & ROK] The Japanese government established the “National Fund for Asian Peace and Women” (Asian Women’s Fund) in 1995 and made payments, including compensation, to some comfort women, based on the prime minister’s letter of apology and contributions from the Japanese people. Did you know this?

 

Japan

ROK

Yes

32

22

No

64

77

 Q: [Japan & ROK] There has been no imperial visit to South Korea since the past war ended. Would you approve of the Emperor visiting South Korea?

 

Japan

ROK

Yes

39(62)

46

No

42(22)

39

 Q: [Japan] The next question concerns the Takeshima Islands in the Sea of Japan. Both Japan and South Korea have been claiming territorial rights to the islands as. Do you think the Takeshima issue should be settled at an early date?

 

Yes

48(47)

No

44(46)

 Q: [Japan & ROK] Do you think relations between Japan and South Korea will move in a positive or negative direction, or remain unchanged?

 

Japan

ROK

Move in a positive direction

15(30)

22(39)

Move in a negative direction

10(4)

11(7)

Remain unchanged

67(62)

60(49)

 Q: [Japan & ROK] What do you think is most important for Japan and South Korea to deepen their mutual understanding?

 

Japan

ROK

Cooperation in economic, technological areas

27(44)

15

People-to-people exchanges, including by students

17(15)

2

Cultural, sports exchanges

16(15)

5

Joint studies on history

20(11)

24

Reconsideration of apologies and compensation

11(9)

46

 Q: [Japan & ROK] The Korean Peninsula is now divided into two nations, South Korea and North Korea. Do you think the two nations will be reunified in the future?

 

Japan

ROK

Yes

15(28)

58

No

80(67)

35

 Q: [Japan] To what extent do you feel uneasy about North Korea’s nuclear development?

 

Very

53(54)

Somewhat

36(36)

Not very

8(8)

Not at all

2(2)

 Q: [Japan & ROK] How do you think the Japanese government should respond to North Korea from now on? Do you think Japan should deepen its dialogue through diplomatic efforts, or do you think Japan should take strong measures, such as economic sanctions?

 

Japan

ROK

Deepen dialogue through diplomatic efforts

39

47

Take strong measures like economic sanctions

54

38

 Q: [Japan & ROK] Do you think South Korea ranks with Japan in industrial and trade areas?

 

Japan

ROK

Yes

26(47)

22(41)

Not really

68(46)

73(56)

 Q: [Japan] Do you think South Korea is Japan’s partner or rival in the economic area?

 

Partner

18

Rival

64

 Q: [Japan] How often do you eat Korean food?

 

Very often

5(7)

Sometimes

35(40)

Not very often

43(39)

Never

16(12)

 Q: [Japan] How often do you watch South Korean movies or dramas?

 

Very often

9

Sometimes

20

Not very often

28

Never

40

 Q: [Japan] Speaking of people in South Korea, who do you think of first? Pick only one. (Figures in parentheses denote ranking in the previous survey conducted in 2010, and “–” denotes 13th place or lower.)

 

1

(–)

Park Geun Hye (president)

21%

2

(1)

Bae Yong Joon (actor)

19%

3

(2)

Kim Yu Na (former figure skater)

7%

4

(3)

Kim Dae Jung (former president)

5%

5

(4)

Choi Ji Woo (actress)

2%

6

(8)

Rhee Syng Man (former president)

1%

7

(7)

Tohoshinki (music group)

1%

7

(–)

Park Chung
Hee (former president)

1%

9

(–)

Kara (music group)

1%

10

(5)

Lee Byung Hun (actor)

1%

11

(–)

Jang Keun Suk (actor)

1%

11

(–)

Lee Bo Mee (professional golfer)

1%

 Polling methodology

 

 Japan: The survey was conducted by mailing a questionnaire form to a total of 3,000 persons chosen from among the nation’s voting population on a stratified two-stage random sampling basis. A total of 338 voting blocs were selected so as to epitomize the nation’s electorates at large, and 9 persons were picked on average from each voting bloc’s register. The questionnaire form was sent out on May 13 and was returned by a total of 2,202 persons by June 15. Valid answers were from 2,147 persons (72%), excluding answer sheets left mostly blank or filled out by those not eligible to the survey.

 

 In the breakdown of respondents, males accounted for 45%, females for 54%, with 1% unspecified. In the breakdown of age brackets, persons in their 20s accounted for 9%, 30s—13%, 40s—18%, 50s—17%, 60s—21%, 70—14%, 80 and over—8%.

 

 South Korea: The Dong-A Ilbo conducted the survey through a private-sector research institution. The survey was implemented May 27-28 over the telephone, with samples chosen from among men and women aged 19 and over. Valid answers were obtained from a total of 1,011 persons. In the breakdown of respondents, males accounted for 51%, with females at 49%. In the breakdown of age brackets, persons under 30 accounted for 15%, persons in their 30s—17%, 40s—20%, 50s—21%, 60 and over—27%.

 


 

 


 

 

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