TOKYO — Arrogant, violent and to varying degrees, nationalistic. That’s how the Japanese and Chinese publics see each other’s country, according to a new poll that reflects the geopolitical tensions between the neighboring East Asia powers.
The annual Pew Research Center survey, released Tuesday in Washington, D.C., found that while views of each other have improved slightly in recent years, they remain overwhelmingly negative and worse than a decade ago. A huge surge in Chinese tourists visiting Japan apparently hasn’t changed public opinion much.
Negative feelings spiked in 2013, after a long-running territorial dispute over some remote, uninhabited islands flared in 2012. They have climbed down since then but remain high.
Japanese with a very unfavorable view of China:
2006: 22 percent
2013: 48 percent
2016: 42 percent
Chinese with a very unfavorable view of Japan:
2006: 29 percent
2013: 74 percent
2016: 53 percent
Japanese are more worried than Chinese that China’s territorial disputes with Japan and other neighboring countries could lead to military conflict. The two nations’ coast guard ships regularly assert sovereignty near the Japan-controlled Senkaku islands, which China also claims and calls Diaoyu.
Japanese very concerned about a conflict: 35 percent
Japanese somewhat concerned: 45 percent
Chinese very concerned: 18 percent
Chinese somewhat concerned: 41 percent
How Japanese see Chinese:
Arrogant: 81 percent
Nationalistic: 76 percent
Violent: 71 percent
How Chinese see Japanese:
Arrogant: 70 percent
Nationalistic: 41 percent
Violent: 74 percent
Japan has repeatedly expressed remorse for its invasion of China in the 1930s and 1940s, but China has questioned the sincerity of the official statements and accused some in Japan of trying to whitewash history.
Japanese who believe Japan has apologized enough:
2006: 40 percent
2016: 53 percent
Chinese who believe Japan hasn’t apologized enough:
2006: 81 percent
2016: 77 percent
Favorable view of South Korea:
Japan: 27 percent
China: 55 percent
Favorable view of India:
Japan: 54 percent
China: 26 percent
The survey of 1,000 Japanese was conducted between April 26 and May 29 using landline telephones and cellphones. The Japan results have a margin of error of 4.1 percentage points. The survey in China was conducted face-to-face with 3,154 people between April 6 and May 8. It has a margin of error of 3.7 percentage points.