National

78% of Americans see Japan as important partner for national security: U.S. survey

JIJI

A solid majority of Americans see Japan as an important security and trade partner, a recent survey by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, a U.S. think, showed.

The survey found that 78 percent of Americans believe relations with Japan strengthen U.S. national security, exceeding the percentage of respondents who believe the same for other U.S. allies listed, such as Germany and South Korea, at 75 percent and 70 percent, respectively.

It showed that 57 percent of respondents believe the United States should increase or maintain its military forces in Japan, compared with 40 percent who answered that the United States should reduce or withdraw its forces from the country.

In a question on trade relations, 87 percent of respondents said they favor engaging in trade with Japan, tied with Germany for the most favored trade partner among the countries listed in the survey.

On the use of military force by Washington, 55 percent of respondents opposed using U.S. troops in the event that China initiates a military conflict with Japan over disputed islands, an apparent reference to the Senkakus in the East China Sea.

On the other hand, 70 percent of respondents supported the use of U.S. military force to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, while 58 percent responded in favor of using it to defend South Korea if North Korea invades.

The survey was conducted June 7 to 20, covering 2,059 respondents. The results were released on Friday.