Survey says Chinese, Japanese viewing each other more positively than last year

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Beijing/Tokyo, Aug 26 (ANI): A new survey has revealed that the Chinese and the Japanese are seeing each other a bit more positively than last year.

The survey, jointly sponsored by the China Daily and Genron NPO, a Japanese think tank, found that a majority of people in both countries believe Sino-Japanese relations are important.

The survey is a part of the Beijing-Tokyo Forum, a yearly gathering of Chinese and Japanese senior government officials and NGO members, who believe in building up better communication and understanding between the two countries.

The survey, now in its fifth year, divided people into two groups - ordinary citizens, and intellectuals - in both the countries.

The Chinese intellectuals mainly comprised university students from famous well-known institutions like the Peking University. Previous members of Genron NPO formed the Japanese "intellectuals".

Nearly thirty-six percent ordinary Chinese said they have a "very good" or "relatively good" impression of Japan, which is a 5.5-percentage-point increase over last year.

About 45.2 percent of Chinese students saw Japan in a positive light, a two percentage points increase on the previous year's figures, whereas, only 26.6 percent of Japanese think positively about China.

However an overwhelming majority of Chinese and Japanese said Sino-Japanese relations were "important" and also wanted the leadership of the two nations to increase talks and enhance mutual cooperation.

Nearly 60 percent of ordinary people and 42.4 percent of Chinese students saw no progress in Sino-Japan relationship over the last year

In Japan, 64.8 percent ordinary people and 53.4 percent intellectuals saw no improvement in bilateral ties this year.

The surveys found historical issues and territorial disputes still remain points of tension between the two nations.

The Chinese are often unhappy over official Japanese visits to Yasukuni Shrine, and the Nanjing Massacre still remains a historical problem.

About 47 percent of ordinary Japanese appreciated Chinese help in fighting the global economic crisis, compared to just 30 percent last year. Japanese intellectuals believing Chinese economic growth to be better for the Japanese leaped from 65.8 percent to 81.4 percent this year.

Cooperation in East Asian issues, economic affairs, energy, environment and climate change should be the top priorities of the talks between the two countries according to the people.

Almost 91 percent of the students and 85.7 percent ordinary people in China and 95.8% intellectuals and 74.8% ordinary people in Japan saw civil exchanges as "important" or "relatively important".

The survey also found that the people of the two countries found out about each other's countries mostly through TV news and newspapers. (ANI)

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