Japanese Have Mixed Feelings About Korea

      September 10, 2011 08:58

      Japanese people have mixed emotions about South Korea, according to a survey by pollster GfK for AP. GfK polled 1,000 adults in Japan between July 29 to Aug. 10 and found that 31 percent liked South Korea, putting the country third among seven countries that were compared after the U.S. and Germany. The others were Israel, China, Russia and North Korea.

      But 27 percent of the respondents disliked South Korea. The popularity of Korean TV dramas and K-Pop increased, AP speculated, but it looks like the country as a whole "isn't so popular itself."

      Japanese felt hostile toward North Korea and China, according to the survey. A total of 94 percent of respondents said they do not like North Korea, while 76 percent voiced aversion to China. Russia and Israel were next with 44 percent of the respondents saying they did not like them. When asked if they think China threatens global peace, 73 percent of the respondents said yes. Eighty percent felt the same way about North Korea.

      Tensions have increased between China and Japan over the Senkaku Islands, which the Chinese call Diaoyutai. In a survey by the English-language China Daily last month, the proportion of respondents who said they did not have good feelings about China rose 6.3 percentage points compared to last year to 78.3 percent, while the proportion of Chinese who dislike Japan climbed 10 percentage points to 65.9 percent.

      Respondents were also asked about their feelings toward state leaders. The Japanese emperor was the most popular with 70 percent, followed by U.S. President Barack Obama (41 percent), and German Chancellor Angela Merkel (28 percent). But 90 percent of the respondents disliked North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, making him the least popular world leader, followed by Chinese President Hu Jintao (68 percent).

      The third least-liked leader was Japan's own former prime minister Naoto Kan (65 percent), trailed by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin with 47 percent. Twenty percent of the respondents said they like South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, but 31 percent dislike him and 44 percent were undecided.

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