(Yomiuri: March 13, 2016 – p. 2)
According to the results of the Cabinet Office’s “Public Opinion Survey on Diplomacy” released on March 12, the percentage of Japanese who reported that they “feel friendly” toward South Korea rose to 33.0%, up 1.5 percentage points from the previous survey conducted in October 2014. This is thought to reflect the improvement in the bilateral relationship, including the agreement reached between the two nations at the end of last year concerning the comfort women issue. Meanwhile, a record-high number of Japanese (83.2%) said they “do not feel close” to China (up 0.1 points from the previous survey).
The survey was conducted in January 2016 of a total of 3,000 men and women, aged 20 and over, across the nation, with 1,801 people (60.0%) responding. The countries that pollees said they “feel friendly toward” were: The United States at 84.4% (up 1.8 points from the previous survey), Russia at 17.4% (down 2.7 points), and China at 14.8% (unchanged from the previous survey).
The percentage of respondents who said that they “do not feel friendly” toward South Korea was 64.7%, down 1.7 points from the previous poll.
When asked what they were concerned about regarding North Korea (multiple answers permitted), respondents answered as follows: “Japanese abductee issue”: 83.5% (down 4.8 points from the previous survey); “nuclear issue”: 76.1% (up 22.1 points); “missile issue”: 60.5% (up 4.9 points). These results seem to reflect the fact that North Korea went ahead with a nuclear test in January right before the survey was conducted.