日中世論調査 不信乗り越え「互恵」を築け

a strategic, mutually beneficial relationship 戦略的互恵関係

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Nov. 8, 2010)
Distrust clouding Japan-China ties
日中世論調査 不信乗り越え「互恵」を築け(11月7日付・読売社説)

The deterioration of the Japan-China relationship has created unprecedentedly serious mutual distrust between the people of the two countries. The Japanese and Chinese governments should take this situation seriously.

In a survey jointly conducted late last month by The Yomiuri Shimbun and the Oriental Outlook Weekly, which is published by China's official Xinhua News Agency, a record 90 percent of Japanese people surveyed characterized the Japan-China relationship as bad.

The survey also showed that 81 percent of the Chinese people polled--a significantly higher percentage than in last year's survey--said the bilateral relationship is bad. The results clearly indicate that each people's view of the other's country has deteriorated to an unprecedented extent.

The Japan-China relationship took a turn for the worse over the issue of former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's visits to Yasukuni Shrine, but later gradually improved. However the bilateral relationship has quickly cooled off due to a collision incident in September between a Chinese fishing boat and Japan Coast Guard vessels off the Senkaku Islands and growing anti-Japan demonstrations.

According to the survey, only 7 percent of the Japanese polled said China was trustworthy, while just 15 percent of the Chinese people viewed Japan as trustworthy. Both figures were substantially lower than in last year's survey.

Mutual dependence a fact

Japan has been increasingly dependent on the fast-growing Chinese economy. China, meanwhile, has high expectations for the transfer from Japan of environmental and energy-saving technologies.

Now is the time for Japan and China to build a cooperative framework, but it is unavoidable that mutual economic progress will continue to encounter obstacles given the waning mutual trust between the people of both nations.

It should be noted that 89 percent of the Japanese people surveyed said they felt anxious that China, backed by its economic and military power, would increase diplomatic pressure on other countries.

Furthermore, 79 percent answered that they felt a military threat from China. The number is second only to the 81 percent who said they perceived such a threat from North Korea.

These findings proved that the Japanese public takes seriously recent events such as the calling off of Japan-China exchanges following the collisions, China's restrictions on rare earths exports to Japan and China's lengthy detention of Japanese employees of Fujita Corp.

Public unconvinced on China

Asked about the future bilateral relationship, about 60 percent of the Japanese people surveyed said they thought it would remain unchanged. China must take responsible actions appropriate to its growing economic and military strength to improve a bilateral relationship that has gone sour.

In addition, it is important for China to seriously address and resolve pending bilateral issues such as resuming negotiations on a treaty to develop natural gas fields in the East China Sea, and easing rare earths export restrictions.

First and foremost, it is essential for the Japanese and Chinese governments to make continued diplomatic efforts to create an environment in which both nations' leaders can talk calmly and deliberately.

Beyond just loudly advocating the advantages of a strategic, mutually beneficial relationship, both sides need to ensure that substantial steps are taken toward this goal, which would be tangible progress toward restoring mutual trust between the people of the two countries.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 7, 2010)
(2010年11月7日03時01分 読売新聞)

by kiyoshimat | 2010-11-08 04:56 | 英字新聞

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