Sat, Dec 25, 2010 - Page 1 News List

Japanese support helping US defend Taiwan: survey

SCENARIOA newspaper survey in Japan found that 57 percent of respondents believed Japan should provide logistical support to the US if the US helps defend Taiwan

Staff Writer, with CNA

Nearly 60 percent of Japanese agreed with the idea of their country offering logistical support to the US if the US had to assist Taiwan militarily in a showdown with China, according to the results of a Japanese poll released yesterday.

In the survey conducted by the Japanese Asahi Shimbun daily on Dec. 4 and Dec. 5, 57 percent of the 3,000 respondents said Japan’s self-defense forces should provide transportation and other logistical support to the US military if war were to break out in the Taiwan Strait.

Only 30 percent of respondents opposed the idea.

In a parallel poll conducted in the US by Harris Interactive for the newspaper from Dec. 2 to Dec. 6, for the same question, 65 percent of the 1,009 respondents said Japanese self-defense forces should assist the US logistically, while 23 percent said there was no such need.

MILITARY THREAT

The Asahi survey in Japan also found that an increasing number of Japanese feel that China’s military poses a threat to their country. About 32 percent of respondents felt that way in this year’s poll, up from 13 percent in 2005 and 8 percent in 2001.

North Korea was perceived as Japan’s biggest military threat, with almost half (49 percent) of the respondents citing it as such.

About 72 percent of the Japanese respondents felt Japan should strengthen cooperation with the US, and 61 percent of the Americans felt their country should do the same with Japan, according to the surveys.

The polls also found that 51 percent of the Japanese respondents and 55 percent of the Americans surveyed thought their countries should beef up cooperation with China.

On which country is more -important to the Japanese — China or the US — more than two-thirds (68 percent) of Japanese said the US, compared with a mere 15 percent who pointed to China.

However, when Americans were asked which country was more important to them, half of the US respondents named China and only 33 percent said Japan.

As many as 78 percent of Japanese respondents said the -Japan-US security treaty should be maintained and 68 percent of the Americans agreed.

With China boosting its military capability, 48 percent of those surveyed in Japan said their country should increase its military presence in its southwestern islands to respond to the threat, while 36 percent opposed the suggestion.

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