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Majority of Taiwanese feel close connection with Japan: poll

2012/06/22 12:13:40

Taipei, June 22 (CNA) The majority of Taiwanese feel that Japan and Taiwan are closely connected, according to a survey released Friday.

The survey, commissioned by Japan's Interchange Association,also found that 53 percent of Taiwanese see Taiwan-Japan relations as being on good terms, which was a 25 percent increase from a similar poll carried out two years ago.

The most recent poll, which sought to gauge Taiwan people's perception of Japan, found that 75 percent of Taiwanese view the relationship as "close." In the previous survey, the figure was 62 percent.

Asked about their favorite country or territory other than Taiwan, 41 percent of the respondents named Japan, 8 percent said the United States, another 8 percent picked China and 6 percent chose Europe.

Meanwhile, 29 percent said Taiwan should give priority to Japan in its efforts to build close relations with other countries or territories, 37 percent chose China and 15 percent were in favor of the U.S.

The survey also found that 66 percent of Taiwanese feel that ties between Taiwan and Japan have grown closer since March last year when a massive earthquake and tsunami struck Japan.

After the disaster, Taiwan donated a total of US$260 million in relief and reconstruction aid to Japan, the biggest amount among all the countries in the world that made donations.

In the poll, 51 percent of Taiwanese said they did not intend to travel to Japan anytime soon. Half of them said they were concerned about radiation issues in the wake of the nuclear disaster that ensued at power plants in northeastern Japan after the earthquake, while 28 percent said the rising Japanese yen was a deterrent.

As for Taiwan-Japan exchanges, most of the respondents said both sides should focus on trade relations and cultural and academic exchanges.

The survey was conducted Jan. 30 to Feb. 22 by the Nielsen Company. It collected 1,009 valid samples.

The Interchange Association represents Japanese interests in Taiwan in the absence of official diplomatic ties between the two countries.

(By Elaine Hou)