Japan's Public Opinion On Bilateral Relations With Russia Overwhelmingly Negative - Report

Japan's Public Opinion on Bilateral Relations With Russia Overwhelmingly Negative - Report

TOKYO (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 19th February, 2021) The number of Japanese citizens who negatively perceive bilateral relations with Russia has increased by 7.1 percent points in 2020, reaching 73.9 percent, according to a recent public opinion poll conducted by the Japanese government.

When asked "Do you consider current relations between Russia and Japan as generally favorable?" 54.9 percent of respondents chose the answer "I think that they are not very good" and 19.1 percent said "I do not think they are good."

Only 1.6 percent of respondents believe that relations between Moscow and Tokyo are "good", and 23.3 percent believe that they are "somewhat good."

Compared to the findings of a similar poll from the previous year, the percentage of people who perceive Japan-Russia relations negatively has increased by 7.1 percentage points. The highest percentage of negative responses came from people in the 60-69 age group.

The government conducted the public opinion poll on Japan's foreign policy from October 22 to December 6 last year via mail.

Around 1,865 people took part in the survey.

Relations between Russia and Japan have been strained for a long time, exacerbated by the lack of a peace treaty after World War II. Its signing reached a roadblock over Tokyo's claims to the southern Kuril islands. The history of the dispute dates back to 1956, when the USSR and Japan signed the Joint Declaration. According to the document, Moscow agreed to consider the possibility of transferring the islands of Habomai and Shikotan to Japan after the signing of a peace treaty, leaving Kunashir and Iturup out of the deal.

The USSR believed that the Joint Declaration would put an end to the dispute. However, Japan did not abandon its claims to all of the islands. Subsequent negotiations failed and the peace treaty between the two countries at the end of World War II was never signed. Currently Moscow firmly maintains its position that the islands de-facto became part of the USSR after World War II and Russia's sovereignty over them is indisputable.