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75.9% of Japanese feel 'close' to Taiwan in 2021 survey

Taipei Representative Office in Japan announces latest opinion poll results

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File photo of a message celebrating Taiwan and Japan's friendship displayed on Taipei 101. 

File photo of a message celebrating Taiwan and Japan's friendship displayed on Taipei 101.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — In the 2021 “Awareness Survey Report on Taiwan,” 75.9% of Japanese surveyed said they felt “close” to Taiwan, while 64.8% believed Taiwan to be “trustworthy,” the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) in Japan announced on Thursday (Jan. 20).

Most of those who reported feeling close to Taiwan said they felt the Taiwanese are “kind and friendly;” other major reasons include the two countries’ “long history of exchange,” and “strong economic ties,” according to the report. However, only 26.4% of respondents actually visited Taiwan; 47.8% said they would like to after the pandemic ends.

46.6% of respondents felt closest to Taiwan out of all Asian countries; only three percent felt close to China.

Regarding the two countries’ relations, 71.4% of respondents believed “current Taiwan-Japan relations are good” and 59.6% believed “Taiwan-Japan relations will develop in the future.” Per the survey, the biggest reason contributing to Taiwan’s trustworthiness stems from Taiwan’s “friendliness towards Japan,” which is followed by Taiwan’s “free and democratic values” and the perception of Taiwan as “a peaceful country.”

Most respondents (40.7%) were most concerned about “how cross-Strait relations (between Taiwan and China) would affect Japan.” Others were concerned about issues relating to the fishing industry (8.2%) and Taiwan and Japan’s economic competition (6.8%); 24.4% of respondents believed there are no issues between the two countries.

Respondents believed that Taiwan and Japan should reinforce exchanges in terms of economy (57.6%), tourism (57%), politics and security (41.6%), culture (34%), and disaster response training (19.5%).

In terms of a general impression of Taiwan, 78.9% of respondents answered “friendly towards Japan,” 47.3% answered “tasty food,” 43.4% answered “historical ties with Japan,” 31.6% answered “abundant tourist attractions,” and 24.1% answered “internationally renowned semiconductor industry.”

When asked about which type of Taiwanese fruit interested them the most, respondents’ top answers include bananas (57.6%), pineapple (57%), mango (44.2%), and lychee (22.6%).

TECRO commissions Japan’s Central Research Services (CRS) to conduct the opinion poll annually. In November 2021, the CRS surveyed 1,000 Japanese individuals aged 20-89; those between the ages of 20 and 79 were surveyed online, while those between 80 and 89 were surveyed via telephone.