National

Majority of Japanese have favorable feelings toward Taiwan: poll

Kyodo

A majority of Japanese have a strong affinity for Taiwan and think bilateral relations will further develop, according to the results of a survey conducted by Taiwan’s de facto embassy in Tokyo that was released Friday.

In the poll, 64.7 percent of respondents said they feel the most affinity for Taiwan among all Asian countries and regions.

By comparison, 17.5 percent of respondents chose South Korea, while just 4.5 percent said they feel the greatest affinity for Taiwan’s cross-strait rival China. Twelve percent named other Asian nations.

Among those who feel some degree of affinity toward Taiwan, over 79 percent said that Taiwanese are friendly. The next largest group, or 45.8 percent, cited the long history of exchanges between Japan and Taiwan. Those who pointed to the island’s generous donations in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima disaster accounted for 39.2 percent.

The survey also found that 60.4 percent of the respondents think Taiwan is reliable, with 67.5 percent of those respondents saying they hold that opinion because the island is friendly toward Japan. About 52 percent cited the fact that the two sides share the same values of freedom and democracy, and 49.7 percent said both are peace-loving countries.

With regards to bilateral relations, 71 percent of the respondents replied that Tokyo-Taipei relations are sound, while 59.3 percent said they believe bilateral ties will further develop in the future.

Nearly 57 percent of the respondents said they would like to visit Taiwan. Among them, respondents between the ages of 30 and 39 are the most interested in doing so.

When asked what area of exchanges needs to be strengthened, 64.6 percent named tourism, 52.8 percent chose trade, and 41.8 percent said political exchanges and security.

The survey was conducted by phone from Nov. 12 to Nov. 15 on a random national sample of 1,000 adults aged from 20 to 79 years old. People aged from 80 to 89 years old were polled from Nov. 23 to Nov. 26. Some of the questions allowed respondents to submit multiple answers.