11/18/2020, 12.52
JAPAN – CHINA
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About 90 per cent of the Japanese are hostile towards China compared to only 53 per cent of the Chinese towards Japan

The survey was conducted by a Japanese NGO and a Chinese Communist Party entity. The Japanese are worried by China’s position in the East China Sea. The Chinese have a better opinion of Japan, whilst 84 per cent see the US as a military threat.

Tokyo (AsiaNews) – Almost 90 per cent of Japanese have a negative opinion of China, this according to a survey by the Japanese NGO The Genron NPO and the China International Publishing Group, a body affiliated with the Chinese Communist Party.

Released yesterday, the 16th annual poll conducted in both countries, shows that, compared to 2019, the negative attitude of Japanese respondents towards Beijing grew by 5 per cent.

The drop is not due to China's murky handling of the coronavirus pandemic. About 57.4 per cent of respondents say they are worried about China’s air and sea encroachments around the Japanese-held Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, which China claims.

About 64.2 per cent of Japanese respondents believe that Japan-China relations are important or relatively important, down 8.5 percentage points over last year, falling below 70 per cent for the first time since the poll began in 2005.

The Chinese have a better opinion of Japan. "Only" 52.9 per cent of respondents in China are hostile towards Japan, more or less like last year, whilst 74.7 per cent believe that relations between the two nations are important, up by 7.7 per cent over last year.

According to analysts, this rise is the result of the intensification of the conflict between China and the United States. About 84.1 per cent of Chinese see the United States as a military threat to their country, 10 per cent more than a year ago.

Tokyo is Washington’s main in the region. The Japanese government yesterday signed a military agreement with Australia to boost the anti-Beijing front.

According to analysts, this shows that Japan and Australia’s membership in the China-dominated Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the largest free trade agreement in the world, will not undermine their common stance with the US against China’s ascendancy.

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