Japan remained the favorite country for Taiwanese last year, with half of a polled sample optimistic about future ties with Japan, a survey commissioned by the Interchange Association, Japan showed.
Forty-three percent of people in Taiwan preferred Japan over any other country or region in the world last year, up 2 percent from 2011, according to the survey.
The US, China and Singapore each picked up 7 percent of the vote.
Japan was the favorite country among Taiwanese in 2008, 2009 and 2011, according to the association’s surveys conducted in those years. The association did not conduct a similar poll in 2010.
In addition, Japan remained the top pick among Taiwanese looking to travel abroad last year, leading to a repeat of the survey results from 2008, 2009 and 2011.
According to the survey last year, 38 percent preferred to travel to Japan, 34 percent to Europe, 9 percent to China, 6 percent to the US, 5 percent to Southeast Asia and 4 percent to South Korea.
Meanwhile, 50 percent of Taiwanese were hopeful about an improvement in ties with Japan last year, a 13 percent drop from the previous year.
People aged between 20 and 39 were the most optimistic group last year.
However, a significant fall was seen last year in the number of Taiwanese people who perceived two-way relations between Japan and Taiwan as good.
Thirty-three percent were positive about Taiwan’s current relationship with Japan last year, down 20 percent from 2011, the survey showed. People under 40 were the most positive group.
Commissioned by the association, market researcher Nielsen conducted the survey from Jan. 11 to Jan. 27 via the Internet and computer-assisted telephone interviews.
The survey collected 1,000 samples and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.