TAIPEI — A new survey showed Friday that 60 percent of Taiwanese people consider Japan to be their favorite foreign country, the highest figure since such polling began in 2009.
According to the poll conducted by a research agency commissioned by Tokyo’s de facto embassy in Taipei, Japan was by far the most favored country among Taiwanese, with China ranking second at 5 percent and the United States third at 4 percent.
Japan also topped the list of countries or regions that respondents think Taiwan should develop a close relationship with in the future at 46 percent, up 9 percentage points from the previous survey in 2018 to hit a record high.
In the same question, the United States was chosen by 24 percent, up 9 points, and China by 15 percent, down 16 points, amid tense cross-strait relations.
The United States overtook China as the country respondents saw as the most influential for Taiwan, with a record 58 percent choosing Washington, up from 33 percent in 2018, compared with 25 percent picking Beijing, down sharply from 45 percent in the previous survey.
A total of 13 percent picked Japan.
A record 70 percent of respondents said Taiwan-Japan relations are sound, while 77 percent said they felt an affinity for Japan, up from 70 percent in 2018.
The survey was conducted among a random sample of 1,068 Taiwanese adults aged 20 to 80 by phone or online from Jan. 5 to 20.