Japanese and South Koreans both see each other's country more favorably than last year, but ill feelings linger after years of soured political relations between the Asian neighbors over wartime issues, a survey showed Thursday.

Japanese who have unfavorable feelings about South Korea stood at 40.3%, down 8.5 percentage points, while South Koreans who hold a negative impression of Japan came to 52.8%, down 10.4 points, according to the poll conducted by nonprofit think tank Genron NPO and the Seoul-based East Asia Institute.

The Japanese think tank attributed the slight improvements to the fact that the two countries are both democratic countries allying with the United States on the back of intensifying tensions between Washington and Beijing.