(Yomiuri: December 11, 2015 – p. 2)
The Yomiuri Shimbun and the Gallup Organization, a U.S. polling company, conducted a telephone-based joint public opinion survey in Japan and the United States on Nov. 16–22. In the survey, respondents were asked whether they think Japan-U.S. relations are currently in “good” or “bad” shape. In response to this question, “good” rose to 58% in Japan (49% in the previous survey conducted in November 2014), hitting an all-time high since 2000 when the telephone-based survey was introduced, with “bad” dropping to 20% (28% in the last survey). In the United States, respondents were likewise asked about the current state of bilateral relations between Japan and the United States. “Good” rose to 49% (45% in the last survey), while “bad” fell to 10% (12% in the last survey).
Respondents in Japan were also asked whether they trust the United States. To this question as well, “yes” rose to 48% (45% in the last survey), while “no” declined to 36% (42% in the last survey). Respondents in the United States were asked whether they trust Japan. To this question, “yes” increased to 71% (61% in the last survey). It is thought that enhanced U.S.-Japan cooperation on a broad range of issues, such as China’s maritime advancement in the South China Sea and the broad agreement reached on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) helped improve good feelings and mutual trust this year.
Turning to relations with China, respondents in Japan were asked whether they think Japan-China relations are in good or bad shape. In response to this question, “bad” was 78%, dropping from the all-time high of 88% reached in the last survey. In the U.S. side’s survey, respondents were likewise asked whether they think U.S.-China relations are in good or bad shape. In response to this question, “good” climbed to 27% (26% in the last survey), and “bad” increased to 29% (21% in the last survey).
When asked whether they approve of Japan’s passage of security legislation that allows the limited exercise of the right to collective self-defense, 39% of Japanese and 71% of Americans responded “yes.” In response to a question about Japan’s involvement in settling international disputes, 18% of pollees in Japan and 39% of those in the United States said Japan should “engage more than ever.” When asked about whether they supported the addition of Japan as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, 67% of those polled in Japan and 70% of those polled in the United States said “yes.”