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Chinese more upbeat on Sino-Japanese ties

By CAI HONG | China Daily | Updated: 2018-10-12 07:14

More Chinese are optimistic about their country's relationship with Japan. The Chinese also expressed more optimism about future ties. [Photo/IC]

More Chinese are optimistic about their country's relationship with Japan, according to the annual China-Japan joint opinion poll on bilateral ties released in Tokyo on Thursday.

Slightly more than 30 percent of the Chinese questioned said the current China-Japan relationship is "good". The Chinese also expressed more optimism about future ties.

The percentage of people in China who said relations will take a turn for the better increased from 28.8 percent in 2017 to 38.2 percent this year.

Those who did not regard the ties' prospects favorably accounted for 18.2 percent of respondents, a 10 percent drop from last year.

Chinese respondents numbered 1,548 and were from Beijing, Shanghai and eight other cities, while 1,000 Japanese took part in the survey.

The survey, co-conducted by China International Publishing Group and Japanese nonprofit Genron, showed that only 15.6 percent of people in Japan took an optimistic view about how their nation's ties with China are progressing.

The Chinese public's impression of Japan largely improved this year. The poll showed that 42.2 percent of the Chinese respondents had a "favorable" impression of Japan, an increase of 11 percentage points from last year.

And those who viewed Japan unfavorably also dropped by 11 percentage points to 46.1 percent this year.

But 86.3 percent of respondents in Japan had an "unfavorable" impression of China, compared with 13.1 percent who viewed China favorably.

Gao Anming, vice-president of China International Publishing Group, said Chinese respondents' views of bilateral ties and perspectives on Japan echo the momentum of improved bilateral relations, but added that sensitive issues between the two countries are still serious.

Seventy-four percent of the Chinese questioned considered Sino-Japanese relations to be "important", and 70 percent supported China's cooperation with Japan on Asian affairs. But 79.4 percent of the Chinese took Japan as a military threat, a rise of 11.8 percentage points from 2017.

Premier Li Keqiang visited Japan in May, and President Xi Jinping met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Vladivostok, Russia, in September.

Jin Ying, a researcher at the Institute of Japanese Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said China and Japan should work together to keep the ties on a normal track.

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