Tokyo (AFP) Dec 19, 2010
The number of Japanese who say they do not feel "friendly" towards rival China has hit an all-time high, according to a government poll published at the weekend.
The annual survey, which questioned 3,000 people in October, found that 78 percent of respondents said they did not feel friendly towards China, up 19 points from last year and the highest rating since the poll began in 1978.
A diplomatic row over disputed island territories earlier this year sent ties plummeting to their lowest level in years, sparking street protests on both sides.
"Heightened tension between Japan and China has had a major impact on people's feelings," the Japanese foreign ministry said, quoted by Jiji Press.
A tense territorial row broke out in September after Japan arrested a Chinese trawler captain over a collision between his boat and Japanese coastguard ships near disputed islands in the East China Sea.
He was eventually freed but the dispute triggered protests from China, which cut or dramatically reduced political, cultural and economic exchanges.
The two have since worked to get their relationship back on an even keel, but the issue continues to stir nationalist feelings in both countries.
earlier related report
Indicators showed that public satisfaction with jobs and social security was at its lowest in four years, said the annual report based on a poll of the public and launched this week by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS).
"Urban and rural residents' overall life satisfaction declined as the negative impacts of the financial crisis gradually came into play in 2010," said the annual Blue Book of China's Society.
Confidence in the government's ability to manage economic, social and international affairs fell, while pride in China's world status, which has been on the rise for four years, dropped back to its 2006 level, it said.
In a further sign of growing fears about the country's soaring inflation, the report found prices topped the list of concerns in 2010 and people's ability to absorb price rises slumped sharply.
China's consumer price index, a key gauge of inflation, rose 5.1 percent year on year in November, the fastest increase in over two years and well above Beijing's full-year target of three percent, as food costs continued to soar.
Ever fearful of inflation's historical potential to spark unrest, authorities have taken a range of measures to curb growth, with the central bank in October hiking interest rates for the first time in nearly three years.
The CASS report showed the Chinese public is also concerned about reform of the country's healthcare system and runaway housing costs. Reining in home prices has become the people's top expectation of the government, it said.
Property prices in China's major cities were up 7.7 percent in November from a year ago and 0.3 percent from October, the third straight month-on-month rise, official data shows, despite Beijing's efforts to cool the red-hot market.
More than 4,100 people were polled in seven major cities and seven smaller towns for the CASS report.
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Chinese public increasingly unhappy with life: survey
Beijing (AFP) Dec 16, 2010
People in China are increasingly dissatisfied with their lives as confidence in Beijing's ability to govern the vast country and manage the economy falters, according to a key government think tank. Indicators showed that public satisfaction with jobs and social security was at its lowest in four years, said the annual report based on a poll of the public and launched this week by the Chines ... read more
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