September 22, 2006

Japan’s View of China’s Military Might

93%

That’s the percentage of Japanese who think that China’s growing military power is a bad thing for their country. That concern is shared by large majorities of others among China’s neighbors.

Anxiety about the growing strength of China’s military is nearly universal in Japan. That concern is shared with others among China’s neighbors — large majorities in both Russia and India see this as a threatening trend. The Chinese, however, have a very different view: 95% say their rising military might is a good thing. In China, much of the antipathy toward Japan is rooted in history — overwhelmingly, the Chinese believe Japan has yet to atone for its militaristic past. Eight-in-ten Chinese (81%) believe Japan has not apologized sufficiently for its military actions during the 1930s and 1940s. And departing Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s repeated visits to the Yasukuni Shrine, a controversial Shinto shrine that memorializes Japan’s war dead, including Class A World War II war criminals, are viewed very negatively in China. Read More