The Saturday editions of all national papers reported on the results of a public opinion survey on diplomacy conducted by the Cabinet Office late last year showing that about 82% of Japanese citizens said the nation’s relations with China were “not good,” up 6.3 points from a year ago. The corresponding figures for South Korea and Russia were 82.4% (down 5.5 points) and 74% (up 7.1 points). The daily attributed the Japanese public’s negative sentiments toward the three neighbors to bilateral disputes over the Senkakus, requisitioned workers, and the Northern Territories. In contrast, over 86% of respondents felt that ties with the U.S. were in good shape, up 6.1 points.
The dailies also focused on a finding that a record 40.4% of Japanese said “the development of Japan-ROK ties is not important for the two nations or the region,” up 2.7 points. Nevertheless, some 35% of respondents said they “felt an affinity” for South Korea, up 8.2%. The Foreign Ministry reportedly surmises that an increasing number of Japanese young people find Korean pop culture appealing.