Most Japanese, South Koreans rate current bilateral relations as "bad": poll

Source: Xinhua| 2019-06-12 21:42:25|Editor: xuxin
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TOKYO, June 12 (Xinhua) -- More than 60 percent of Japanese and South Koreans rate bilateral relations as "bad" at the moment, a survey showed Wednesday.

Among the roughly 2,000 people polled across both countries, 63.5 percent of Japanese said current Japan-South Korea relations are "very bad" or "somewhat bad," while 66.1 percent of South Koreans gave the same answer.

Meanwhile, the poll showed only 40.2 percent of Japanese called for efforts to improve bilateral ties compared with 70.8 percent of South Koreans.

When asked about their views on rulings last year by the South Korean Supreme Court ordering Japanese companies to compensate wartime laborers for forced work, 58.7 percent of Japanese said they do not approve of the court decision, while 75.5 percent of South Korean's expressed support.

Asked how the issue should be resolved, 28.4 percent of Japanese said they do not know, followed by 22.2 percent who favored setting up an arbitration panel involving a third country or taking the matter to the International Court of Justice.

Relations between Seoul and Tokyo have soured since Japan protested late last year against the South Korean top court's ruling that Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp. should pay compensation for the forced labor victims.

The South Korean top court passed a similar judgement, ordering Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. to compensate two groups of South Korean victims over wartime forced labor.

Additional South Korean victims sued other Japanese firms, including Nachi-Fujikoshi Corp. and Mitsubishi Materials Corp., claiming that they or their family members were adversely affected by the wartime forced labor.

The poll also revealed that only 20 percent of Japanese said they had favorable feelings toward South Korea, the lowest since 2013 when the survey began, while a record-high of 31.7 percent of South Koreans said they had favorable feelings toward Japan.

The annual survey was conducted between May and June by Tokyo-based nonprofit think tank Genron NPO and the Seoul-based East Asia Institute.