A record 83.2 percent of Japanese people do not feel close to China, a Cabinet Office survey conducted in January revealed .
The figure beat the previous record, marked in the preceding October 2014 survey, by a meager 0.1 percentage point.
Japanese public sentiment toward China has deteriorated since 2012, on the back of heightened tensions over the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture and China’s unilateral maritime actions, such as island construction in the disputed South China Sea.The proportion of respondents who answered they have friendly feelings toward China stood at 14.8 percent, unchanged from the previous public poll on foreign affairs.
Meanwhile, 73.3 percent said Japan-China relations are important, far higher than 22.5 percent thinking otherwise. The survey also found 33.0 percent of the respondents have feelings of affinity to South Korea, up 1.5 points.
The improvement is believed to reflect favorable developments in Japan-South Korea relations, such as the first meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Park Geun-hye held in November last year and a deal to resolve the long-standing “comfort women” issue made late last year, a foreign ministry official said.The proportion of respondents who do not feel friendly to South Korea dropped 1.7 points but still remained high at 64.7 percent.
-more at The Japan News