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Japan and China ties rated high

[ 2009-08-27 14:20]     字号 [] [] []  
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An overwhelming majority of Chinese and Japanese people believe relations between their countries are "important", or even "more important than relations with the United States", according to a survey released yesterday.

Almost six in 10 Japanese interviewed for the survey, which was jointly sponsored by China Daily and Genron NPO, said relations with Beijing were as important as those with Washington.

A quarter of interviewees said ties with China were more important than those with the United States.

Genron NPO, the survey's co-sponsor, is a leading Japanese think tank, similar to the American Council on Foreign Relations.

The survey has been conducted annually for the past five years, focusing on "ordinary citizens" and "intellectuals".

In China, the intellectuals were university students attending well-known schools.

In Japan, the 500-strong intellectual group was largely made up of previous members of Genron NPO.

Answers from both ordinary Japanese and intellectuals were basically consistent when it came to evaluating relations with Beijing.

Feng Zhaokui, former deputy head of the Institute of Japan Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said people in both countries rated ties between them highly for financial reasons.

"The trend is basically decided by increasing economic interdependence of the nations," said Feng. "Especially, given the fact that China passed the US to become Japan's largest trading partner in 2007 and that China found in the financial crisis the US is not that reliable."

The latest survey shows Chinese and Japanese view each other slightly more positively than they did last year, though more than half of each nation still dislikes the other.

Chinese and Japanese people tend to learn about one another's country through television news and newspapers, the survey found.

Though three-quarters of ordinary Chinese believe domestic reports about Japan, less than one-third of intellectuals trusted their media to be objective. And less than one-third of Japanese believed their country's reports on China.

According to the survey, only 15 percent of ordinary Japanese have visited China or have friends in China.

"For Japan, China is a close, but distant, country," Kudo said. "Mistakes made by media will misguide people, and our survey has found much misunderstanding due to that."

Gao Anming, an editorial board member at China Daily, said media in both countries should reflect on their work.

Japan and China ties rated high

Japan and China ties rated highBrendan joined The China Daily in 2007 as a language polisher in the Language Tips Department, where he writes a regular column for Chinese English Language learners, reads audio news for listeners and anchors the weekly video news in addition to assisting with on location stories. Elsewhere he writes Op'Ed pieces with a China focus that feature in the Daily's Website opinion section.

He received his B.A. and Post Grad Dip from Curtin University in 1997 and his Masters in Community Development and Management from Charles Darwin University in 2003. He has taught in Japan, England, Australia and most recently China. His articles have featured in the Bangkok Post, The Taipei Times, The Asia News Network and in-flight magazines.