Many Japanese believe the World Cup improved its ties with South Korea and spread information about the nation’s culture, although it might not have produced the economic benefits many were hoping for, according to poll results released Tuesday.

The poll was conducted over the Internet on June 30 and July 1 after the closing ceremony of the World Cup by Japan Statistics & Research Co., an Osaka-based market research agency.

The agency e-mailed 1,500 people aged between 18 and 49 and received responses from 649. The respondents selected answers from a prepared list on the agency’s Web site.

According to the poll, 55.6 percent of the respondents said they feel the World Cup improved relations with South Korea.

A little more than 47 percent said the soccer games allowed Japan to spread information about its culture through mass media and other means.

But only 28 percent said they believe the tournament significantly boosted the anemic economy.

Asked about the effect the World Cup had on themselves, 37.3 percent said the one-month event helped improve communication with their peers, while 34.2 percent said it helped improve communication with family members.

Asked to select the countries they feel more friendly toward as a result of the event, 41.8 percent picked England, while 41.3 percent picked Germany. Respondents were allowed to submit multiple entries from the list of 32 that made it into the World Cup finals.

On closer analysis, 55.8 percent of female respondents selected England, compared with 28.1 percent of male respondents. The research agency attributed the gap to the popularity of England captain David Beckham with women.

Meanwhile, 77.5 percent of the 649 respondents said they want to see the World Cup finals held in Japan again.

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