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Rising enmity haunts China-Japan relations: Poll

August 12, 2011 - Beijing

There has been drop among Chinese and Japanese people about the feelings of friendship towards one another following a year of often turbulent relations, a poll conducted simultaneously in both countries have revealed.

The findings of the survey, sponsored by China Daily and the Japanese non-profit think tank Genron NPO, suggest that the number of Chinese people who like Japan dropped from 38.3 percent in 2010 to 28.6 percent this year.

The drop has reversed a six-year trend characterized by increasingly favorable opinions among Chinese people toward Japan. In 2006, when the survey was launched, just 11.6 percent of respondents had a favorable opinion of Japan, but this figure had risen uninterrupted up to 2010, the China Daily reports.

The poll, however, revealed a far less severe decline in favorable attitudes toward Japan among Chinese college students and young teachers in universities, with the rate dropping slightly from 45.2 percent to 43.1 percent.

However, in Japan the number of so-called elites who like China dropped 10.8 percentage points to 40.6 percent this year, while the number of ordinary people with favorable opinions dropped 6.5 percentage points to 20.8 percent.

A sizeable proportion of Chinese people, 40.9 percent, and 27.2 percent of "intellectuals" said that Tokyo's mishandling of the Fukushima nuclear plant crisis after the March 11 earthquake-cum-tsunami contributed to unfavorable feelings toward Japan.


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