In a year of one of the most tumultuous U.S. presidential elections in memory, a new study by the Washington-based Pew Research Center has shown that while 72 percent of Japanese retain a favorable view of the United States, 61 percent see America in decline on the global stage and 52 percent view the power and influence of Japan's closest ally as a threat.

The Pew survey of 1,000 Japanese was conducted in April and May, just as Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton were securing the Republican and Democratic presidential nominations in a primary race that saw Trump repeatedly bash Japan and both candidates announce their opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership that is currently being debated in the Diet.

Not surprisingly, the survey showed a clear preference among Japanese for Clinton.