Koreans Feel Closer to Neighbors Than Vice Versa

Koreans feel relatively close to the Japanese or the Chinese, but the Chinese feel more distant from either of their neighbors, research suggests.

The East Asian Social Survey looked at a 2008 survey of 1,508 Korean adults, 3,010 Chinese, and 2,160 Japanese.

It analyzed the mean value of replies to questions such as "Can you accept people from another country as your colleagues, neighbors or family members by marriage?"

The closer the index was to 4 on a scale of 1-4, the closer the people of a country feel to those of another.

The index for Korea's distance from China and Japan was 3.28 and 3.42. The Japanese felt still fairly close to Koreans and Chinese with 3.03 and 2.89.

But the Chinese were far more isolationist, with 2.46 for Korea and 1.9 for Japan.

An EEAS staffer put it delicately, saying, "Chinese people still seem to have a strong Sino-centric viewpoint."

Relations between the neighbors have not always been easy, with hostile sentiment flaring up occasionally over a range of issues from territorial disputes to historical grievances.

englishnews@chosun.com / Aug. 21, 2014 09:56 KST