Thursday, December 16, 2004

53% of Japanese distrust United States

Fifty-three percent of Japanese respondents to a poll
said they did not trust the United States, a figure far
higher than the 29 percent of Americans who said they
distrusted Japan, according to the findings of a joint
Yomiuri Shimbun-Gallup survey released Wednesday.

Despite this, many respondents said they believed that
the Japan-U.S. relationship remained on good terms.

The distrust of the United States among Japanese was the
highest recorded in the survey over the past five years,
a sentiment believed to have been caused by U.S.
policies regarding the governing of postwar Iraq.

Meanwhile, 71 percent of Japanese respondents said they
did not trust China, reflecting their deteriorating view
of the country due to the recent intrusion into Japanese
territorial waters by a Chinese nuclear-powered
submarine and other gripes related to China.

The telephone survey was conducted in the latter half of
last month, with 1,006 voters aged 20 or older in Japan
and 1,000 voters aged 18 or older in the United States

Pollees who said Japan-U.S. relations were good
increased nine percentage points from the previous year
to 49 percent in Japan, but dropped one point to 53
percent in the United States.

Regarding mutual trust, the number of Japanese
respondents who expressed distrust of the United States
soared eight points to 53 percent from last year, a
figure much higher than the 38 percent who said they
trusted the United States.

In 2000, the interview format was changed from
person-to-person interviews to telephone interviews, and
since last year the number of Japanese pollees who said
they distrusted the United States exceeded those who
said they trusted it.

The gap has widened from four percentage points to 15
percentage points, showing that distrust of the United
States has increased.

In the United States, the number of respondents who said
they trusted Japan was 67 percent, much higher than the
29 percent who expressed distrust of Japan, illustrating
a gap between Japanese and U.S. pollees in their
perceptions about each other.

The Iraq problem is believed to be the main reason
behind the Japanese pollees' distrust of the United
States, with 75 percent of them expressing discontent
about the governing of Iraq led by the United States.

Sixty-one percent of Japanese pollees said they did not
feel a fondness toward U.S. President George W. Bush,
who was reelected in November. In the United States, it
was 60 percent for Bush and 39 percent against him. Even
in the United States, 62 percent of the respondents said
they did not believe other countries had a liking for
the United States.

The Iraq war has created a rift between the United
States and Europe, resulting in a deepened sense of
isolation among Americans.

In Japan, 71 percent of the respondents said they did
not think other countries admired the United States.

Regarding their relationships with China, 59 percent of
the Japanese respondents described Japan-China relations
as poor as did 16 percent in the United States.

The number of Japanese who described their relationship
with China as poor jumped 28 percentage points from the
previous year and was the highest since the 2000 survey.

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