Asia (bbabo.net), - About half of respondents in Japan and China said they believe a military conflict in the Taiwan Strait is possible in the future, an annual poll released this Wednesday showed, according to Japan's Kyodo news agency today, Nov. 30.
44.5% of the Japanese and 56.7% of the Chinese who took part in the survey indicated the likelihood of an armed conflict over Taiwan either "within a few years" or "in the future."
The measurement of public sentiment in the largest countries of East Asia was carried out by the Japanese think tank Genron NPO and the Chinese public opinion research institute China International Communications Group (CICG).
Tensions over Taiwan have risen since US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi traveled to the island in August, with China responding to the visit with large-scale military exercises near the self-ruled territory, Kyodo recalls.
Deteriorating Sino-U.S. relations have fueled tensions between Beijing and Tokyo, Washington's security ally, while relations among Asian neighbors have been further tainted by the fall of Chinese ballistic missiles into Japan's exclusive economic zone during said exercise, the publication said.
While 63.7% of Japanese respondents attribute rising cross-strait tensions to China, 52.5% of Chinese believe the United States is to blame. 25.8% of those surveyed in China pointed to both the United States and Japan as the guilty parties, and 11.7% pointed to the Taiwanese authorities.
The Japanese public's perception of China remains largely "unfavorable", however, down 3.6 percentage points from last year to 87.3 percent. Among Chinese respondents, 62.6% have a negative view of Japan, down 3.5% from last year.