China’s efforts to intimidate Japan into submission have seen such trust of China as there is amongst the Japanese collapse, with as many as 90% of Japanese surveyed saying China cannot be trusted.
The latest surveys of public opinion indicate China’s recent efforts to seize the Senkaku Islands have had the unsurprising effect of substantially hardening public opinion against China – 87% of Japanese men in their twenties now agree “China cannot be trusted,” up from 80%.
Women are just as suspicious of Chinese intentions – 91.8% of women in their forties, the highest, also feel China cannot be trusted, and even amongst women in their twenties 84% agree.
The results also indicate Japanese are becoming concerned by their weakness, especially the younger generations – as many as 94.2% of Japanese men in their twenties now agree that “Japan’s image as a being a nation that will succumb to pressure is a concern.”
Amongst Japanese, concern about China’s aggression also appears to be crystallising into concern about the current pro-Chinese stance of their own government.
The latest incident, in which senior government figures made the highly suspect blunder of referring to the presence of Chinese ships in the area with the honorifics usually reserved for dignitaries, convinced many that the Democratic party’s worshipful attitude to China is incorrigible – now over 90% of men in their thirties agree that the government’s foreign policy is “spineless.”
Across all the generations, the incident has caused many to think their “alliance” with the USA must be strengthened; 39.1% think the alliance should be strengthened, whilst 41.9% consider the status quo adequate. Most support is concentrated amongst younger generations of men – 48.9% and 46.4% of men in their thirties and twenties want a stronger alliance.
Younger generations were particularly likely to admit the importance of relations with China – 95.7% of men in their twenties and 92% of women in their thirties agreed China “is important to Japan’s economy,” displaying a surprising amount of awareness of just who their largest trading partner is.
Where the regions are concerned, the most concerned were the inhabitants of Kyushu, closest to China and the Senkaku Islands. 51.3% agreed that “troops should be stationed on the Senkaku Islands,” higher than anywhere else. 76.1% agreed that “China is a nation which threatens the safety of Japan” and 81.4% that “the issue will continue to poison relations between China and Japan.”
With public opinion now firmly against China, it seems the only thing sustaining Japan’s supine position with regards to China is the Democratic Party of Japan’s substantial Sinophile wing and the short-sighted desperation of the extremely powerful Keidanren (Japan Business Federation) to protect their Chinese investments – one of the few Japanese organisations left which unreservedly supports the appeasement of China.