Nikkei, Asahi, Mainichi, and Sankei reported on the results of an annual survey conducted in Japan and China from August to September by the Japan-based Genron NPO and the China International Publishing Group. Of the Chinese respondents, 66.1%, up 13.2 points from last year, said they have an unfavorable or relatively unfavorable impression of Japan, while only 32%, down 13.2 points, said they have favorable feelings toward Japan. Asked why they have a negative impression of Japan, 77.5% said Japan fails to reflect on and apologize for its history of wartime aggression, while 58.7% cited Japan’s nationalization of the Senkaku Islands. Some 23% said Japan is trying to encircle China with the cooperation of the United States.
Of the Japanese respondents, 90.9%, up 1.2 points from a year ago, said they have an unfavorable or relatively unfavorable impression of China, while 9%, down 1 point, said they have favorable feelings toward China. Some 58.7% cited China’s intrusions into Japanese waters and airspace near the Senkaku Islands as the reason for their unfavorable impression of the nation and 49.2% said they feel uneasy about China’s aggressive behavior.
Genron speculated that the Chinese people’s sentiment toward Japan might have worsened because the number of Chinese visitors to Japan dropped sharply because of the coronavirus pandemic.