SEOUL, Oct. 1 (Korea Bizwire) – Nearly 8 out of 10 South Koreans in their 20s and 30s agree on the need for Seoul to improve relations with Japan, a survey showed Saturday.
The online poll — conducted by the Korea Youth Foundation — found 22 percent of the respondents said they “strongly agree” with the need for South Korea to improve or strengthen relations with Japan, while 56.8 percent said they agreed to some extent.
Among them, 47.3 percent cited economic advancement through trade with Japan as the biggest reason for their support toward improving ties with the neighboring country, followed by 20.2 percent who called for the need to step up defense cooperation with Tokyo to better counter North Korea’s nuclear threats.
South Korea and Japan are key allies of the United States, though they have long been in conflict over territory and other historical disputes stemming from Japan’s 1910-45 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula.
President Yoon Suk Yeol held summit talks with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on several occasions as they pushed to improve bilateral ties.
In the same survey, 31.7 percent positively viewed Japan, while 28.7 percent had unfavorable views toward the country, among which over 84 percent of the respondents cited Tokyo’s “distorted history perception.”
The Korea Youth Foundation did not provide a margin of error for the poll, which was conducted on 5,176 people aged between 19 and 39 from Aug. 16 to 23.