Thursday, September 21, 2006


There is a good deal of dislike, if not outright hostility, in how the publics of major Asian countries view their neighbors. The deepest divides exist between traditional rivals – the Chinese and Japanese express highly unfavorable opinions of one another. Similarly, attitudes in India and Pakistan reflect historical tensions between those two Asian powers.

In China, much of the antipathy toward Japan is rooted in history – overwhelmingly, the Chinese believe Japan has yet to sufficiently apologize for its military actions during the 1930s and 1940s. And outgoing Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s repeated visits to the Yasukuni Shrine are opposed by a large majority of Chinese. Meanwhile, the Japanese are divided over both issues.

The latest survey by the Pew Global Attitudes Project – conducted in six countries from March 31-May 14, 2006 – also finds that China’s neighbors are concerned about its growing military power: large majorities in Japan, Russia, and India see China’s increasing military strength as threatening trend. Still, relatively few see China replacing the U.S. as the world’s dominant superpower anytime in the near future.

Other key findings include:

  • The Japanese and Chinese tend to associate a number of negative characteristics with one another, and tend not to see certain positive traits in one another. Both publics consider the other competitive, as well as greedy and arrogant; neither sees the other as honest or generous.

  • As Prime Minister Koizumi prepares to step down, he remains quite popular at home; however he is decidedly unpopular in China.

  • The Chinese and Japanese hold very different views of North Korea. Nearly all Japanese have a negative opinion of North Korea, while most Chinese have a favorable view. Majorities in both countries have a positive opinion of South Korea, although a significant minority of Japanese sees the country in a negative light.

  • The Chinese have very positive feelings about hosting the 2008 Summer Olympics, and they overwhelmingly believe the Games will help improve China’s international reputation.

  • In China, a strong majority believes most people are better off now, even if some are rich and some are still poor.

  • Indians overwhelmingly believe relations between their country and the U.S. have grown closer in recent years, and they consider this a positive development.

The survey is embargoed for release until 2pm EDT today. An advance copy is available in PDF format at For other new releases from the Pew Research Center – on journalism, religion, the internet, national and state politics, immigration, and other demographic and social trends, please go to

Andrew Kohut


Pew Research Center


Ben's comment:

In The 637 Best Things Anybody Ever Said

Annoymous says, roughly, "I've just travelled aorund the world and everyone hates everyone."

Happy Jewish New Years, to those to whom it applies, and those to whom it does not.



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