83 per cent of Japanese reject further demands from South Korea over comfort women: Poll

A statue of a girl that represents the sexual victims by the Japanese military is seen in front of Japanese embassy in Seoul, on Dec 28, 2015.
A statue of a girl that represents the sexual victims by the Japanese military is seen in front of Japanese embassy in Seoul, on Dec 28, 2015. PHOTO: REUTERS

TOKYO (THE YOMIURI SHIMBUN/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - According to the latest Yomiuri Shimbun survey, 83 per cent of respondents supported the Japanese government's stance of refusing additional demands from the South Korean government regarding the 2015 Tokyo-Seoul agreement on the comfort women issue.

Eleven per cent did not support the government's position.

The survey was conducted nationwide from Friday through Sunday (Jan 14) using a random digit dialling method.

Respondents in favor of Tokyo's stance stood at 88 per cent among those in favor of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Cabinet and at 80 per cent even among those not in favour of the Cabinet. The percentage of support was high regardless of pollees' gender and generation.

"A final and irreversible solution" to the comfort women issue was confirmed in the 2015 deal.

South Korean President Moon Jae In has set out a new policy to effectively seek further measures from the Japanese side, saying he urges Japan to resolve the issue. Tokyo has said that is completely unacceptable.

In the Yomiuri poll, those who said they were unconvinced by Moon's policy stood at 86 per cent.

A total of 78 per cent of respondents said South Korea was either "not very trustworthy" or "not trustworthy at all."

This is nine percentage points higher than the corresponding figure among Japanese poll-takers in a May 2017 survey that was jointly conducted with the same dialling method by The Yomiuri Shimbun and The Hankook Ilbo, a South Korean newspaper.

 

Asked which of the two options - dialogue or pressure - should be emphasised to get North Korea to stop its nuclear tests and missile launches, respondents in favour of pressure stood at 50 per cent, exceeding the 40 per cent in support of dialogue.

In the previous survey conducted from Dec 8 to 10 last year, those supporting pressure stood at 46 per cent and for dialogue at 43 per cent.

The approval rating for the Abe Cabinet was 54 per cent, almost unchanged from 53 per cent in the previous survey. The disapproval rating was 35 per cent, down one percentage point from the previous poll.

Forty-seven per cent of the poll-takers said they positively evaluated the Cabinet's economic policy, higher than the 40 per cent who said they did not.

However, as many as 73 per cent said they did not actually feel the effects of economic recovery.

The support rate for the Liberal Democratic Party was 39 per cent, down one percentage point from the previous poll, followed by the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan with 8 per cent, also down one percentage point.

Forty percent of respondents said they did not support any political party, one percentage point up from the previous survey.

The survey was conducted on eligible voters 18 or older with a total of 1,070 valid responses.