Koreans the Most Insecure in the Region

      November 28, 2008 09:22

      Koreans have the lowest pride in their country compared to Japanese and Chinese, a survey suggests. More Koreans than Chinese or Japanese said their country's relations with neighboring nations are not good.

      The Northeast Asian History Foundation on Thursday announced a survey pollster World Research conducted in October. It was conducted of 500 adults in each country to discover their views of history. The margin of error was 4.38 percentage points and the confidence level 95 percent. Some 93.6 percent of Chinese respondents said they were proud of their country, compared to 89.4 percent in Japan and 86.2 percent in Korea.

      Asked about relations between Korea and China, 59.8 percent of Korean respondents said they were bad, up from 34.5 percent in 2007, as against only 16.4 percent of Chinese respondents, up from 6.6 percent in 2007.

      Seoul-Tokyo relations were seen as bad by 76.8 percent of Korean respondents, up from 67.7 percent in 2007 but only 45.6 percent of Japanese respondents, up from 34.4 percent in 2007.

      Asked about history-related issues that should be resolved most urgently, 85 percent of Korean respondents cited the Dokdo islets. Some 50 percent of Chinese respondents and 55.4 percent of Japanese respondents cited the distortion of facts in history textbooks.

      Among Koreans, 96 percent were keenly aware of the Dokdo issue, up from 92.7 percent in 2007. But in Japan interest in the matter is dropping, from 75.2 percent in 2007 to 67.8 percent this year.

      Some 63.6 percent of Japanese respondents approved of their prime minister's visit to the militarist Yasukuni Shrine, up from 48 percent the previous year. But more had been persuaded that the body of water between Korea and Japan should be referred to as both the East Sea and the Sea of Japan, up from 17 percent to 25.6 percent.

      Baik Young-seo, a professor at Yonsei University who analyzed the survey, said, "The younger the people in the three countries are, the more negative they tend to become in their views of each other. This is a factor that could worsen relations between the three countries."

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