Opinion Polls Show Majority of Chinese and Over 40% of Japanese Foresee Future Military Conflict in Taiwan StraitPolitics
Japanese private nonprofit organization Genron NPO and the China International Publishing Group conducted a joint survey of 1,000 people aged 18 or older in Japan and 1,500 in China, between July and September 2022. This was the eighteenth time to conduct the survey, but the first time it asked about tension in the Taiwan Strait.
In response to the question “Do you think there will be military conflict in the Taiwan Strait?”, 34.1% of Japanese people believed there would be at some stage in the future, and 10.4% believed there would be in the next several years. Meanwhile, 9.0% did not believe there would be conflict, while 46.3% said they did not know.
Among Chinese people, 40.5% believed there would be conflict at some stage in the future, and 16.2% thought it would be in the next several years. However, 29.9% did not think there would be conflict, while 12.8% did not know.
A separate question asked respondents to choose one area in East Asia where they believe there was a risk of military conflict. Japanese respondents considered the highest risk was in the Taiwan Strait (25%), an increase of over 11 percentage points from last year, followed by the Korean Peninsula (24.3%).
Improved Reciprocal Image
The survey revealed a very slight improvement of the view of China among Japanese people and vice versa. Compared with last year, the proportion of Japanese with a bad impression of China fell by 3.6 points to 87.3%. The proportion of Chinese people with a bad impression of Japan fell by 3.5 points to 62.6%.
The proportion of Chinese with a good impression of Japan increased 3.2 points to 35.2%, while Japanese with a good impression of China increased 2.8 points to 11.8%.
The most common reason for Japanese people to have a negative impression of China, cited by 58.9% of those surveyed, was violations of Japanese territorial waters and airspace around the Senkaku Islands, followed by discomfort with the political system, cited by 51.5%
The most common reason for Chinese people to have a negative impression of Japan, according to 78.8% of those surveyed, was that Japan had not properly apologized and reflected on its history of aggression, followed by antagonism caused by nationalization of islands in the Senkaku group (58.9%).
(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo: Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio (left) shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the start of the Japan-China heads-of-state meeting in Bangkok, Thailand, on November 17, 2022. © Jiji.)