December 14, 2009 09:06
More Japanese people than ever feel friendly toward Korea. According to an annual poll on foreign relations published by the Japanese Cabinet Office on Saturday, 63.1 percent of respondents said they feel friendly toward Korea, up 6 percent from last year and the most since the first such poll was conducted in 1978.
Some 66.5 percent said ties with Korea are smooth, up 17 percent since last year and the most since the question was added to the poll in 1986.
The Japanese Foreign Ministry told the Mainichi Shimbun daily the figures represent stable bilateral political issues and expanded human and cultural exchanges. Korean pop music and dramas and more travel to the neighboring country are believed to have created better understanding, and political relations between the two nations seem to have improved since the inauguration of the Yukio Hatoyama administration.
More Japanese men (66.1 percent) said they feel friendly toward Korea than women (60.5 percent). By age, respondents in their 50s felt most positive with 67 percent.
Meanwhile, 78.9 percent felt friendly toward the U.S. and 38.5 percent to China.
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