Around Asia: Anti-Japan sentiment is on the rise

In Other News - August 6th, 2013
Anti-Japan sentiment Ken Shin

Anti-Japan sentiment is on the rise in South Korea and China, a new survey by a US think tank shows.

A poll of Asia Pacific nations by US-based Pew Research Center found “overwhelming” negative sentiment against Japan in South Korea and China, with figures of 77% and 90% respectively.

98% of South Koreans and 78% of Chinese said Japan has not sufficienty apologized for its militarism in the Second World War. These opinions were particularly strong among 18 to 29-year-olds.

Perception of Japan has been on the decline over the last five years, with sentiment falling by 12% in China and 5% in South Korea, as long-standing territorial disputes remain a flashpoint in relations.

Hawkish Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is also unpopular in both countries. Only 12% of South Koreans and 9% of Chinese say they are pleased with him.

Although Japan is falling out of favor with its neighbors, Southeast Asian nations and Australia hold Tokyo in a different light.

Roughly 80% of Malaysians, Indonesians, Filipinos and Australians say they have a positive view of the world’s third-largest economy, according to the survey.

Furthermore, a majority of Filipinos and Malaysians don’t think Japan has to apologize for its wartime actions.

Back at home, 48% believed that Japan has already apologized enough for its military actions and another 15% said that not apology was necessary in the first place.

Most Japanese citizens are satisfied with the state of the nation and Abe’s administration, the survey on Anti Japan sentiment, initially released July 11 showed.

A decade ago, only 11% of Japanese expected the country’s economy to improve within a year. That ratio has in 2013 increased to 40%.

by Maesie Bertumen

Image: Ken Shin/Flickr