The Ministry of Foreign Affairs conducted a survey in Kenya, Cote d’Ivoire, and South Africa to probe views on Japan. Some 7% of respondents named Japan as the most trustworthy country, while 33% said China. Similarly, asked “which country is an important partner for their country today,” 28% said Japan while 56% said China. There continued to be a gap between perceptions of Japan and China when it came to the future as well. When pollees were asked “which country will be an important partner in the future,” 33% said Japan and 48% said China.
The poll was conducted in March 2017 targeting 500 people in each nation for a total of 1,500 pollees (voters age 18 or over).
Pollees were asked what criteria they use to decide which country is trustworthy. Some 70% of respondents said they consider “economic ties (investment and good trade relations),” making it the most frequently given response. It is thought that China’s economic engagement with Africa, including the huge amount of capital it supplies for weapons, has contributed to the level of trust it enjoys among the people.