Results of a poll by the Seoul think-tank Asan Institute showed that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is as unpopular as North Korean Leader Kim Jong-Un with South Koreans. The outcome of the survey is an effect of the strained relations between the two nations, which has been on going for years.
Prime Minister Abe’s favorability with South Koreans plunged further following his December visit to the controversial Yasukuni Shrine. His previous favorability rate went down to 1.0 out of a 10-point scale and is within the same rating as the North Korean leader. According to the institute, Abe’s rating is “the same favorability rating found for Kim Jong-Un.” Despite the low rating, half of the Korean public still wants the ties between the two nations to improve, and backed up the idea of a South Korea-Japan summit. 60 percent of those who participated in the survey think that President Park Geun-Hye should be motivated and take initiative to improve ties. Park has already refused a summit with Abe unless he acknowledges Japan’s “past wrongdoings,” while being open with the possibility of holding talks with Kim Jong-Un, no matter that both nations are still at odds with each other.
The survey by the Asan Institute also showed that many South Koreans are aware of the ongoing territorial disputes with Japan over a few islets. Called the Takeshima in Japan and referred in South Korea as Dokdo, the dispute with ownership of the territory has often been called out by South Korea as Japan’s unapologetic stance over its militaristic past.
[via Asia One]