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China Daily

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Friday, October 25, 2019, 14:36
Mutual views of Chinese, Japanese improving
By Liu Xuan
Friday, October 25, 2019, 14:36 By Liu Xuan

Both Chinese and Japanese have increasingly positive impressions of each other's countries and expect to strengthen their international cooperation and personal communications, according to a newly released survey.

The public opinion survey on Sino-Japanese relations found that about 45.9 percent of Chinese interviewees have relatively positive overall attitudes toward Japan, while the number is 15 percent for Japanese, both proportions rising to the highest level in recent years.

The annual survey was jointly conducted by China International Publishing Group and Japan's Genron NPO from September to October. The results were released in Beijing on Thursday.

A newly released survey shows that a majority of respondents from both nations said they consider Sino-Japanese relations to be important

It shows that a majority of respondents from both nations said they consider Sino-Japanese relations to be important, with 67 percent of Chinese and 72.7 percent of Japanese agreeing.

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More and more interviewees believe that enhancing the governments' mutual trust is the most effective way to further strengthen their relations.

There also is a high level of agreement on the importance of nongovernmental exchanges, free trade and multilateralism, according to the survey.

However, the results also indicate that, overall, public opinion is not yet strong enough to push forward the better development of bilateral relations, given that the numbers did not improve to a great extent compared with previous surveys and, in some cases, even regressed.

Sensitive issues such as territorial disputes and historical issues are seen as the main obstacles to the improvement of Sino-Japanese relations, according to the survey.

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Gao Anming, deputy director of the publishing group, said the results reflect the gap between the two peoples' perceptions of each other, which need to be improved.

He said more Chinese have been to Japan within the past five years than the number of Japanese visiting China.

Chinese people are also more likely than Japanese to use the internet and social media to acquire timely information about the other country.

Kudo Yasushi, a representative of Genron NPO, said a sparsity of media reports in Japan about the latest developments in Sino-Japanese relations may be another reason for the low rate of positive impressions about China.

"We must have a broader vision to constantly develop the relationship with China, and to seek common ground while setting aside the differences," he said.


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