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Are We Ready for True Reconciliation?A survey of Yonseians’ thoughts on Korea-Japan relations
Hwang Celine  |  celinehwang@yonsei.ac.kr
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승인 2015.10.08  16:55:58
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MARKING THE 70th anniversary of the end of World War II and Korea’s liberation from Japanese colonial rule, Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo delivered a statement on Aug. 14. In his statement, Shinzo echoed past leaders’ remorse for Japan’s actions during World War II, but did not offer a new, formal apology of his own. Just one day later, South Korean President Park Geun-hye expressed dissatisfaction with Shinzo’s speech while emphasizing the importance of Korea-Japan relations. From these events, it is evident that Korea and Japan are still struggling to improve their strained relationship. To see Yonseians’ opinions on Korea-Japan relations, The Yonsei Annals asked Yonseians about their perception of Japan and the progress of Korea-Japan relations.
 
Total: 469
1.      What do you think about the Japanese government’s attitude toward its past relations with Korea (regarding its colonization of Korea, its use of Korean women, etc.)?
1. Very inappropriate: 285 (60.8%)
2. Inappropriate: 140 (29.9%)
3. Neither inappropriate nor appropriate: 28 (6%)
4. Appropriate: 13 (2.8%)
5. Very appropriate: 3 (0.6%)
 
2.      What is your attitude toward current Japanese people (excluding politicians)?
Neither negative nor positive: 139 (29.6%)
Positive: 120 (25.6%)
Negative: 107 (22.8%)
Very negative: 71 (15.1%)
Very positive: 32 (6.8%)
 
3.      Do you think that Japan has apologized appropriately for its past colonization of South Korea? (In this case, apology only refers to written or spoken expressions.)
No: 387 (82.5%)
I don’t know: 45 (9.6%)
Yes: 37 (7.9%)
 
4.      Do you think that Japan has apologized appropriately for its past use of Korean comfort women?
No: 434 (92.5%)
I don’t know: 18 (3.8%)
Yes: 17 (3.6%)
 
5.      What do you think of current Korea-Japan relations (the political relationship between the two countries)?
1. Very bad: 59 (12.6%)
2. Bad: 213 (45.4%)
3. So-so: 174 (37.1%)
4. Good: 22 (4.7%)
5. Very good: 1 (0.2%)
 
6.      Do you think that improvement of Korea-Japan relations is necessary for Korea?
Yes: 421 (89.8%)
I don’t know: 41 (8.7%)
No: 7 (1.5%)
 
7.      Why do you think that improvement of Korea-Japan relations is necessary for Korea?
Because of economic reasons: 222 (47.7%)
Because of political reasons: 136 (29.2%)
Because of cultural reasons: 48 (10.3%)
Others: 59 (12.7%)
 
8.      According to a survey conducted by Japanese organization Genron NPO, of the Japanese who said that they have a negative image of South Korea, 75% said that it was because of the continuous criticism over Japan’s wartime history. Do you think that Koreans should reduce their critical attitude toward Japanese regarding past Korea-Japan relations?
No: 358 (76.3%)
Yes: 69 (14.7%)
I don’t know: 42 (9%)

    

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