Image credit: @okpo.
South Koreans overwhelmingly prefer China to Japan, according to a survey published on Tuesday, even though those Japanese surveyed said they rather Korea over China.
The survey, released on May 7, also found that a large proportion of the respondents’ view of the other country turned negative over the past year, which was marked by South Korean President Lee Myung-bak’s visit to the Takeshima islets in August, a first by any South Korean president.
The islets in the Japan Sea, controlled by South Korea and claimed by Japan, are called Dokdo in Korean.
The annual survey was conducted by Genron NPO, a private Japanese group, and the East Asia Institute, a South Korean think tank, between March and April. It included interviews with 1,000 Japanese and 1,004 South Koreans.
Asked which country they feel closer to, 45.5 percent of Japanese respondents chose South Korea, with only 5.9 percent choosing China.
In South Korean on the other hand, 36.2 percent chose China, more than double the 13.5 percent who preferred Japan.
Concerning the impression of the other country, 37.3 percent of the Japanese and 76.6 percent of the South Koreans said it is “not good.”
The most common reason cited by the Japanese respondents was “(South Korea) criticizes Japan over history and other issues,” which was 55.8 percent.
Ah yes history. South Koreans, like their Chinese neighbours, tend look down on Japan’s intermittent revisionism and denial of atrocities committed during the second world war, such as prime minister Shinzo Abe’s claim that Japan’s invasion and occupation of China and Korea wasn’t “aggression”.
On a possible visit to Yasukuni Shrine by the Japanese prime minister, 75.2 percent of Japanese did not take issue with one at all or as long as it “was done in a private capacity.”
But 60 percent of South Koreans said the prime minister should not visit the shrine in either an official or private capacity.
In April, several asshole Japanese politicians, including the deputy prime minister, visited the shrine, prompting formal complaints from South Korea and China.
Of course, this survey is no surprise to us. We reported in February how China and South Korea were swiftly becomings BFFs.