Updated May.17,2007 06:56 KST

Friendliness Between Japan and Korea Withering
Goodwill between Korea and Japan has declined from a high point of mutual bonhomie during the 2002 World Cup, which was co-hosted by the two nations.

According to a survey by Gallup Korea and the Japan Research Center, 20 percent of Koreans have friendly feelings towards Japan and 36 percent of Japanese felt the same towards Korea.

In a 2002 survey by the Chosun Ilbo and Mainichi Shimbun, 35 percent of Koreans and 69 percent of Japanese had friendly views of the other country.

When asked the reason for their antipathy, most Koreans cited the territorial dispute over the Dok-do Islets, while most Japanese said they're turned off by anti-Japanese sentiment in Korea.

Regarding Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to the Yasukuni Shrine, 79 percent of Korean respondents said they were opposed to the visit, far more than the 8 percent who said they accepted it.

In Japan, 34 percent of the respondents accepted the visit while almost the same number, 32 percent, opposed it.

When asked which country Korea should be close with, Koreans chose the U.S. (37 percent), North Korea (28 percent), China (20 percent), and Japan (5 percent). Japanese said Japan should be closest to the U.S. (42 percent), China (17 percent), South Korea (6 percent) and North Korea (3 percent).

The survey was conducted in March through one-on-one interviews with 1,502 adults from Korea and 1,124 adults from Japan.

(englishnews@chosun.com )