• Kyodo

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Only 16.7% of South Koreans feel friendly toward Japanese and 20.2% of Japanese do so toward South Koreans, a survey showed Tuesday, underscoring the soured relations between the two neighboring countries.

Of 1,431 respondents from South Korea and Japan, over 40% said they do not feel friendly toward the other country, according to the survey conducted by the Korea Economic Research Institute, a think tank based in Seoul.

It showed 22.2% of South Korean respondents said they were concerned that trade between the two countries has declined due to the prolonged deterioration of bilateral ties, compared with 16.2% of Japanese respondents.

Over 60% in both countries said bilateral ties have not changed since Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga took office in September last year.

The respondents who said they hoped the governments of South Korea and Japan make efforts to build a cooperative relationship were 78% in South Korea and 64.7% in Japan, according to the survey.

Tokyo-Seoul relations have sunk to their lowest point in decades following South Korean Supreme Court rulings in 2018 that ordered Japanese companies to compensate plaintiffs who were laborers during Japan’s 1910-1945 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula.

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