U.S. and Japan trust each other but both wary of China: poll

Over seven decades after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and dragged the United States into a global war, Americans and Japanese overwhelmingly trust each other and are wary of China, an opinion poll has shown. In contrast to the oft-heard calls from Beijing for more Japanese contrition over World War II, around two-thirds of Americans believe Tokyo has apologised enough or has no need to say sorry. The findings, released Tuesday by the U.S.-based Pew Research Center come just weeks before Shinzo Abe is set to travel to the United States, where he will become the first Japanese prime minister to address a joint session of the U.S. Congress.

Adversaries in World War II, fierce economic competitors in the 1980s and early 1990s, Americans and Japanese nonetheless share a deep mutual respect.

Pew Research Center think tank

About 68 per cent of Americans trust Japan and 75 per cent of Japanese trust the United States, the survey showed, while only 30 per cent of Americans and seven per cent of Japanese trust China. Six in ten Americans believe that the rise of China as a military and economic power makes relations between Japan and the United States more important, revealed the study. At the same time, “more Americans, especially young Americans, think it is important to have strong economic ties with China than believe it is important to have such ties with Japan.