China beats Japan as US’ most impt Asia partner
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Last Updated: Wednesday, June 02, 2010, 13:58
Tokyo: China overtook Japan as the most important partner for the United States in Asia for the first time since 1985, a survey conducted by the Japanese Foreign Ministry covering 200 US leaders has shown.

The ministry which released the report today said the change reflects China's increasing economic weight.

The US survey commissioned to Gallup in February and March also showed that Japan tied with China for the position of the most important US partner in Asia in a poll of some 1,200 people aged 18 or above among the general public.

Among the opinion leaders, 56 per cent said China is the most important partner in Asia for the United States, compared with 36 per cent who named Japan. The poll of the general public put both countries at 44 per cent.

The margin of error was 7 per cent for the opinion leaders and 3 per cent for the general public, according to the ministry.

As for reasons why the opinion leaders chose China or Japan as the most important US partner in Asia, economic ties and US bound investment topped the list for both countries, while they cited the size of national land and population for China and the alliance and friendship for Japan as the second most common reason.

The Gallup research, conducted almost every year since 1960, demonstrated that US confidence in Japan remains almost unchanged despite a recent bilateral row over the relocation of a US base in Okinawa.

Ninety per cent of the polled leaders in the US government, academic, business, media, religion and labour sectors as well as 79 per cent of the general public viewed Japan "as a dependable ally or friend," compared with 91 per cent and 80 per cent in the previous year.


First Published: Wednesday, June 02, 2010, 13:58

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