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Half of Japanese see “no need to rush rapprochement with China,” Nikkei poll

Asked in the recent Nikkei Inc./TV Tokyo survey what stance Prime Minister Shinzo Abe should take in regard to relations with China, 53% of survey respondents said that “Abe need not rush to mend fences with China if that means Japan has to make concessions.” On the other hand, 32% said “making concessions is an inevitable part of advancing relations with China.”


During his string of meetings with Southeast Asian leaders earlier this month, Abe refrained from commenting on China’s maritime advancement in the South China Sea. Abe seeks to hold a three-way summit with China and South Korea at an early date and is also working to visit China and host a reciprocal visit to Japan by Chinese President Xi Jinping next year. Those saying “there is no need to rush rapprochement if that means Japan must make concessions” were in the 50% range among both cabinet supporters and nonsupporters.


A plurality of those supporting Komeito said “concessions were an inevitable part of advancing relations with China.”


Asked how the international community should deal with North Korea’s continued nuclear and missile tests, 53% of respondents said “economic sanctions should be strengthened,” up 9 points from when the same question was posed in a survey in late August.


Meanwhile, 31% favored dialogue as a means of resolving the issue, down 6 points, and 9% said “military action should be considered,” down 5 points.


[Polling methodology: The survey was conducted on Nov. 24–26 by Nikkei Research Inc. via random-digit dialing (RDD) to both landlines and mobile phones. It drew 1,013 responses from men and women aged 18 and older nationwide, for a response rate of 49.4%.]

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