The proportion of Japanese people choosing South Korea as a country they dislike fell below 40 pct for the first time in two years and seven months, a Jiji Press poll showed Friday.
In the monthly public opinion survey, conducted for four days through Sunday, respondents were asked to name a country they have no liking for, allowing multiple choices. South Korea was picked by 38.6 pct of the total, dropping 5.1 percentage points from the preceding month.
The fall came after the figure had moved between 40 and 50 pct since August 2013. It is uncertain whether anti-South Korean sentiment in Japan has been receding, but the drop may reflect recent cooperation between the two countries to take steps against North Korea for its nuclear test and rocket launch.
Negative feelings among Japanese people toward the neighboring country grew sharply after then South Korean President Lee Myung-bak unprecedentedly visited the Sea of Japan islands of Takeshima claimed by Japan in August 2012. In September the same year, the proportion of respondents who answered they did not like South Korea shot up to 43.1 pct, from between 10 and 20 pct seen before the visit.
The Environment Ministry said Friday that it has punished a 71-year-old part-time worker at Shinjuku Gyoen National Park in central Tokyo for neglecting to collect entry fees from some non-Japanese speakers. (Jiji)
The position of the Japan-U.S. alliance as the linchpin of Japanese foreign policy and security is an "unchanging principle," Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in a policy speech Friday hours before the inauguration of the next U.S. president. (Kyodo)
The organizing committee of the 2017 Asian Winter Games to be held in Hokkaido, northern Japan, next month has asked a Japanese hotel chain to take appropriate measures amid criticism for its owner's denial of the 1937 Nanjing incident. (Jiji)