The Yomiuri-Gallup poll [conducted on Nov. 26–Dec. 3] asked respondents if there is a country or region that they think will become a military threat to their country (multiple responses permitted). Some 77% of Japanese respondents said the “DPRK,” down from the 83% found in the previous poll [conducted in 2017], making it the most frequently given response for the third year in a row. Second was “China” at 75% (67%), and third was Russia at 62% (50%). The percentage of Americans who indicated “DPRK” as a military threat to their country was also down at 67% (82%). Nonetheless, it tied “Russia” as the most frequently given response by Americans. “Russia” rose to 67% from the 55% found in the 2017 poll. The third most frequently given response among Americans was the “Middle East” at 64% (63%), and the fourth was China at 60% (51%).
The drop in the percentage of Japanese and Americans citing the DPRK seems to reflect the relaxation of tensions on the Korean peninsula through the inter-Korean summits and the U.S.-DPRK summit held this year. At the time of the previous poll conducted last year, many had a sense of crisis over the DPRK because of its nuclear weapons tests and repeated missile launches.
In contrast, the recent poll found that more Japanese and Americans sense a military threat from China and Russia. These results are thought to reflect the deterioration of U.S.-China and U.S.-Russia ties over trade and nuclear disarmament, respectively.
Many Americans and Japanese said that Japan-U.S. Security Treaty “contributes” to security in the Asia-Pacific region, with 64% of Japanese (67%) and 70% of Americans (76%) giving that response. More than half of both Japanese and Americans said that the U.S. military presence in Japan “should be maintained at the current level,” with 55% of Japanese (57%) and 64% of Americans (62%) giving that response.
[Polling methodology: The survey, both in Japan and the United States, was conducted nationwide over the telephone on a computer-aided random digit dialing (RDD) basis, with people selected from the two countries’ respective voting populations. In both countries, the survey was carried out over landline telephones and mobile phones.
Survey conducted: Nov. 30–Dec. 2
No. of valid respondents: 1,036 persons (men, 48%; women, 52%)
Survey conducted: Nov. 26–Dec. 3
Survey outsourced to The Gallup Organization
No. of valid respondents: 1,000 persons (men, 49%; women, 51%)]