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INTERNATIONAL > East Asia & Pacific

49% of Japanese, 21% of South Koreans back “comfort women” deal, poll

  • May 13, 2016
  • , Yomiuri , p. 2
  • Translation

Some 49% of Japanese respondents answered that they support a deal reached in December last year between Japan and South Korea on the issue of so-called comfort women, while 21% of South Korean respondents gave the same answer, according to a joint survey by The Yomiuri Shimbun and The Hankook Ilbo, a South Korean newspaper. The percentage of those who replied that they do not support the deal was 38% for Japanese and 73% for South Koreans. This strong dissatisfaction with the deal on the South Korean side could influence the future implementation of the deal by the two governments.


There was also a discrepancy in how they assessed the content of the deal between the two countries. Those who answered that the issue of comfort women should be completely resolved by the deal were 74% for Japanese but only 23% for South Koreans.


As for the statue of a girl symbolizing comfort women set up in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul, Japan has demanded that it be removed. Some 62% of Japanese respondents said the statue “should be removed,” while 87% of South Korean respondents answered that “there is no need to do so.”


When asked about North Korea’s continuing nuclear and missile development, those who think that the international community will not be able to make Pyongyang abandon its nuclear development were 67% for Japanese and 61% for South Koreans.


The percentages of those who feel North Korea’s continuing nuclear development poses a threat were 84% for Japanese and 72% for South Koreans.


Those who said that the defense cooperation between the two countries “should be strengthened” was more than half of the respondents on both sides — 59% for Japanese and 52% for South Koreans.


Concerning the present Japan-South Korea relationship, 29% of Japanese respondents answered that it is good, while 66% answered that it is bad. Among South Korean respondents, 15% said it is good and 82% replied that it is bad.


The joint survey was conducted on April 22–24 with telephone numbers randomly selected.


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