No Love Lost Between Koreans and Japanese

Koreans and the Japanese have the least affection for each other since the 2002 World Cup that was hosted jointly by both countries, according to a survey by the Chosun Ilbo and the Mainichi Shimbun.

Some 61 percent of Koreans said they have no affection for the Japanese, compared to 36 percent who do. The Japanese were more evenly split, with 48 percent of saying they feel no affection for Koreans, as against 47 percent who do.

In the six joint surveys conducted by the two papers since 1995, the proportion of Koreans who feel friendly toward the Japanese jumped from 26 percent in 1995 to 42 percent in July 2002, right after the World Cup, but dropped to 37 percent in 2008.

The proportion of Japanese who like Koreans soared from 38 percent in 1995 to 77 percent in July 2002, but fell to 50 percent in 2008.

Some 78 percent of Koreans and 71 percent of Japanese respondents said yes when asked whether they believe the recent spat over Korea's Dokdo has a bad effect on bilateral relations. Some 82 percent of Koreans and 71 percent of Japanese also answered they believe the troubled history between the two countries is a hurdle to bilateral relations.

But 50 percent of Koreans said Korea and Japan should strengthen solidarity to ensure stability in Northeast Asia, including North Korea and China, compared to 40 percent who said there is no need. In Japan, some 67 percent said yes to this question and 25 percent said no.

Meanwhile, when asked which team they would support if a Japanese soccer team were to play against a Chinese team, a majority or 56 percent of Koreans said the Chinese team, as against 15 percent who said the Japanese. But 60 percent of Japanese said they would cheer for the Korean team as against a mere 11 percent for the Chinese team.

The survey was carried out on 1,000 randomly selected people each in both countries in late September.

englishnews@chosun.com / Oct. 08, 2012 11:52 KST