TOPAround Asia: Poll “indicates” that majority of S Koreans see Japan as a military threat

Around Asia: Poll “indicates” that majority of S Koreans see Japan as a military threat

By Alec Jordan

A majority of South Koreans perceive Japan as a military threat, according to a recent survey by the Asian Institute for Policy Studies.

The Seoul-based think tank reportedly conducted a public opinion poll on South Korea’s relations with Japan and more than 60% of those polled said they were afraid about military provocations from Japan.

On a 10-point scale of favorableness, Japan got only 2.66 points, putting it in the same ranks as South Korea’s estranged neighbor to the North with 2.43 points.

But the survey also found that South Koreans believe it necessary to cooperate with Japan despite strained ties over territorial and historical issues.

Around 58% of the respondents think the two Asian nations need to hold a summit and that 60.4% want a bilateral pact to protect military secrets.

The survey reportedly involved about “a thousand adults” between September 2 and 4, making it hard to conclude whether anti-Japanese sentiment among the overall population remain strong.

South Korean officials, however, dashed hopes of improving ties.

Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se said Tuesday he sees “no light at the end of the tunnel” despite what he describes as President Park Geun-hye’s efforts to shore up relations.

By Maesie Bertumen

Image: Romain Bochet/Flickr