SEOUL, Jun. 13 (Korea Bizwire) — South Koreans’ likability for Japan has increased amid the deteriorating relations between South Korea and Japan over the past few years.
On the contrary, Japan’s favorability towards South Korea has declined, according to a recent survey.
The East Asia Institute (EAI), a private South Korean think tank, and Japanese think tank Genron NPO, released the results of the “The 7th Korea-Japan Mutual Cognition Poll,” containing such information, in Tokyo on Wednesday.
In the poll, 31.7 percent of South Koreans said their impression of Japan was “good,” up 3.4 percentage points from 28.3 percent last year.
On the other hand, 20 percent of Japanese said they had a positive impression of South Korean, down 2.9 percentage points from 22.9 percent last year.
The trend has continued since the first survey in 2013.
South Koreans cited Japanese being “friendly and sincere” as the reason for the positive impression, which accounted for 69.7 percent.
Meanwhile, the Japanese cited “attractive Korean food culture and shopping” as the biggest reason for their good impression of South Korea, accounting for 52.5 percent.
When asked about historical issues and challenges for the two nations, South Korean respondents chose “Japanese military sexual slavery issue”, accounting for 70.2 percent, “aggressive war”, accounting for 62.1 percent and “issues of compensation regarding war and forced labor”, accounting for 60.2 percent.
The majority of Japanese, on the other hand, chose the answer of “South Korean’s excessive anti-Japanese behavior on Japanese and historical issues”, with 55.9 percent.
On whether efforts were needed to restore Seoul-Tokyo relations, 70.8 percent of South Korean respondents said “yes,” while the proportion of those who responded similarly was relatively low at 40.2 percent among Japanese respondents.
“South Korea is relatively more committed to improving relations between Korea and Japan,” the EAI said. “This is another way to check the political position of South Korea and Japan, which are moving in opposite directions.”
The survey was conducted with the participation of 1,008 people in South Korea from May 15 to 27 and 1,000 in Japan from May 18 to June 2.
D. M. Park (firstname.lastname@example.org)