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.
Smartphone game "Pokemon Go" made its debut in Japan on Friday morning. The app - which was distributed in Western markets prior to its release in Japan and surged in popularity - is also likely to be a big hit in the country that gave life to Pokemon. (the-japan-news.com)
The Japanese land ministry has decided to set up a program to allow vacant homes across Japan to be rented out to older people and low-income child-rearing families, informed sources said Friday. (Jiji Press)
The Japanese government resumed the construction of helipads for the U.S. military in Okinawa on Friday despite local protests, in preparation for the return to Japan of part of a large training area in the island prefecture.
Japan's Supreme court rejected Thursday an appeal against a lower court decision to give the death sentence to a 31-year-old man for the murder of two family members of a former girlfriend in a high-profile stalking case in 2011. (Jiji Press)