More Chinese people optimistic about China-Japan ties

By Chen Xia
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, October 12, 2018
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Gao Anming (2nd R), vice president of CIPG, gives explanations on the findings of an opinion poll on Sino-Japanese relationship on Oct. 11 in Tokyo. [Photo by Yu Wen/People's China]

More Chinese people agree that the Sino-Japanese relationship is improving and are optimistic about the future of bilateral ties, according to the findings of a recent opinion poll.

The results were released on Thursday in Tokyo before the opening of the 14th Beijing-Tokyo Forum due to be held in the Japanese capital this weekend. 

Co-conducted by the China International Publishing Group (CIPG) and the non-profit Japanese organization Genron NPO, the poll obtained responses from 1,548 Chinese residents in Beijing, Shanghai and eight other Chinese cities between August and September.

Regarding relations over the past year, a total of 30.2 percent of Chinese respondents believed things were "getting better," while 24.1 percent chose "getting worse." In 2017, the figures were 14.7 percent and 44.5 percent respectively. 

38.2 percent of them thought bilateral ties would be "better" or "relatively better" in the future, a 9.4 percentage point increase over 2017. 

The poll found Chinese people's impression of Japan has obviously improved since 2014, matching the momentum of improved bilateral ties.

40 percent of Chinese respondents hold "improved" or "comparatively improved" feelings toward Japan this year, a twofold increase from 20.4 percent in 2017. 

42.2 percent of them had a "favorable" or "relatively good" impression of Japan, an increase of 10.8 percentage points from last year.

A notable increase was also found in people feeling optimistic about the development of bilateral trade, with 67.4 percent believing the trade volume between China and Japan will increase "significantly" or at least "moderately", while only 36.7 percent of respondents held this view last year. 

The Chinese people also hope the two countries can enhance cooperation in such areas as maintaining regional peace and order, developing a new-type cooperative partnership, resolving the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue and safeguarding free trade, the poll showed.

However, the percentage of Chinese respondents feeling worried about the military threat from Japan is increasing. 79.4 percent of them saw Japan as a military threat, up by 11.8 percentage points from last year. 

Historical issues still affect the China-Japan relationship, but with weakening impact, the poll found. About 46.8 percent believed resolving these was essential to the sound development of relations, a decrease of 9.5 percentage points from last year. 

Gao Anming, vice president of CIPG, attended the event releasing the poll results and gave explanations on the findings.

The 14th Beijing-Tokyo Forum, the highest-level public diplomatic communication platform between China and Japan, will open on Oct. 14. 

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Peace and Friendship between China and Japan.

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