Five out of six Japanese have an unfavorable impression of China, a record high, the Kyodo News Agency reported Monday, citing a survey released by the Japanese government.
It found that 83.1 percent of the 3,000 Japanese aged over 20 who were interviewed do not have a good impression of China, up 2.4 percentage points from last year.
Meanwhile, those who do not have a good impression of South Korea rose 8.4 percentage points to 66.4 percent, also a new high.
By contrast, those who have a good impression of the United States climbed to 82.6 percent.
The survey was conducted from Oct. 16 to Oct. 26.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s controversial visit to the Yasukuni Shrine in December last year evoked strong protests from China and South Korea, which suffered greatly from Japan’s aggression during World War II.
Repeated visits by Japanese ministers to the shrine — which commemorates Japanese who died during the war, including numerous war criminals — have been a major obstacle to Japan’s attempts to mend its ties with its two neighbors.
A long-running dispute over “comfort women”, whom Seoul says Japan’s military forced to be sex slaves during the war, has also worsened ties between the two countries, the paper said.
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