Tokyo, Feb. 8 (Jiji Press)–The proportion of people trusting of Japan is lowest in South Korea among six countries covered by a Japanese think tank survey released on Saturday.
According to the survey conducted by the Japan Press Research Institute in November-December last year, 13.0 pct of South Korean respondents said they trust Japan, down 5.1 percentage points from the previous survey carried out a year before. The share of South Koreans who have favorable opinions of the neighboring country fell 9.3 points to 22.7 pct, also the lowest level among the six countries.
The drops apparently reflect strained ties between Tokyo and Seoul over wartime labor and other issues.
The share of Chinese respondents who put trust in Japan was down 6.7 points at 25.7 pct, after rising in recent years.
The proportion was much higher in the other four countries, standing at 95.6 pct in Thailand, 79.5 pct in the United States, 76.6 pct in France and 63.0 pct in Britain.
Thailand had the largest share of respondents who have interest in news reports about Japan, at 77.1 pct, followed by South Korea, at 75.3 pct, up 11.9 points.
The spike in South Korea could be attributed to developments that happened in and after the summer of last year, including those reflecting the issue of wartime labor, such as Japan’s decision to tighten export controls for South Korea and Seoul’s temporary decision to scrap its military intelligence-sharing pact with Tokyo.
The proportion of respondents who know that the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics will be held this year was very high in South Korea and China, coming to 91.6 pct and 80.6 pct, respectively, while being relatively low in the other four nations, at 69.2 pct in France, 64.6 pct in Britain, 55.6 pct in the United States and 41.9 pct in Thailand.
Survey participants were asked for the first time if they have interest in Japanese subculture, including anime, manga and cosplay, with 62.9 pct of Chinese respondents expressing interest, the highest share among the six countries, followed by Thailand, at 46.8 pct. The proportion stood between 20 pct and 30 pct in the United States, Britain and France, and at 18.4 pct in South Korea.
The research institute began the survey in 2015. The latest poll, the sixth of its kind, covered some 1,000 people in each of the six countries.