Nearly 70 percent of Japanese feel close to Taiwan

FRIENDLY NEIGHBOR::A poll showed that 57.9% of Japanese believed that Taiwan could be trusted, with 45.9% saying that the two share the same values

By Chang Mao-sen and Sherry Hsiao  /  Staff reporter in TOKYO, with staff writer

Sat, Dec 23, 2017 - Page 3

Nearly 70 percent of Japanese feel close to Taiwan, according to a survey commissioned by the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in Japan which was released yesterday.

The results showed that among the 69 percent who said they feel close to Taiwan, their reasons included Taiwanese are kind and friendly (76.8 percent); the two nations have a long history of exchanges (46.1 percent); and Taiwanese aid to Japan following the earthquake and tsunami that struck northeast Japan on March 11, 2011 (31.3 percent).

The poll results also showed that in terms of which nation Japanese felt closest to in Asia, 51.7 percent of Japanese selected Taiwan.

The poll showed that 57.9 percent believed that Taiwan could be trusted, with the reasons including Taiwan is friendly toward Japan (57 percent); Taiwan and Japan share the same values, such as liberty and democracy (45.9 percent); and Taiwan is a peaceful nation (43.9 percent).

The poll showed that 67 percent of Japanese believe that good relations exist between Taiwan and Japan, while 52.3 percent believe that those relations would develop further.

When asked which issue between Taiwan and Japan is most worthy of concern, 23.2 percent said problems in the fishing industry; 13.7 percent said territorial issues; 12.4 percent said the effect of the situation in the Taiwan Strait on Japan; and 12.1 percent said economic competition.

Another 22.8 percent believed that no problems exist between Taiwan and Japan, the poll showed.

The poll showed that 69.2 percent of Japanese know or have heard of Taiwan and Japan assisting each other during natural disasters or major accidents.

It showed that 53 percent said they would like to visit Taiwan, while 65.6 percent of Japanese aged between 20 and 29 expressed an interest in visiting Taiwan, higher than any other age group.

When asked which types of exchanges between Taiwan and Japan should be strengthened, 54.8 percent said tourism; 49.9 percent said economic and trade; and 41 percent said politics and security.

When asked which types of exchanges should be promoted between the younger generation, 49.6 percent said arts and culture, while 42.6 percent said sports.

This year’s findings were similar to those of last year, showing that Japanese continue to maintain a friendly attitude toward Taiwan.

The survey was conducted by a Japanese research agency from Nov. 7 to Nov. 16 and had a sample size of 1,000 people.

The responses of people aged 20 to 79 were collected online, while the responses of people aged 80 to 89 were collected by telephone.