October 28, 2017
TOKYO- Japanese people have grown less interested in the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture and the islets of Takeshima in Shimane Prefecture, claimed by China and South Korea, respectively, Cabinet Office surveys showed Friday.
According to the surveys, conducted in summer this year, 62.2 pct of respondents showed interest in the Japanese-administered Senkaku Islands, down 12.3 percentage points from the previous 2014 poll, and 59.3 pct took the same attitude over South Korean-controlled Takeshima, down 7.6 points.
For both the Senkaku and Takeshima islands, the reason most often cited by respondents for not being interested was that their daily lives were not affected very much by issues related to the islands, the surveys said.
The interview-based surveys were the third ones since their launch in 2013. The poll on the Senkaku Islands in the South China Sea was conducted for 11 days from Aug. 3, and that on Takeshima in the Sea of Japan for 11 days from July 13, each with 3,000 Japanese nationals aged 18 or older nationwide.
Valid responses came from 59.0 pct on the Senkaku Islands and from 59.7 pct on Takeshima.
Asked whether they knew about the Senkaku Islands, 91.3 pct of the respondents said yes, down one point.
On the question of what they knew about the islands, the shares of respondents saying that Chinese government ships repeatedly intrude into Japanese waters around the islands and those replying that Tokyo protests China over such intrusions stood at some 70 pct, both down about 9 points.
"It's a big problem if people become used to Chinese intrusions because they occur too frequently," said an official of the Cabinet Secretariat's Office of Policy Planning and Coordination on Territory and Sovereignty.
The official said the government will make extra efforts to direct public attention to issues related to the islands. Jiji Press
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