By Bruce Stokes, Director of Economic Attitudes, Pew Research Center
Special to Nikkei
The rivalry between China and Japan is heating up. Recent confrontations in the East China Sea have only complicated the countries’ long-standing economic competition, in which growing portions of the region’s population see China, not Japan, as the leading economic power. And now there is new evidence of an emerging Sino-Japanese contest for the hearts and minds of Asians.
China is viewed with favor for its economic contribution to the region, but with concern about its territorial ambitions throughout the region. Japan, while not in China’s class economically, is quite popular — at least outside Northeast Asia. And Shinzo Abe, Japan’s prime minister, inspires more confidence in his handling of world affairs than Chinese President Xi Jinping.
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