Survey Ranks China Above Japan as US Partner

Posted June 9th, 2011 at 10:20 am (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

An annual survey of Americans shows China is now viewed as the most important U.S. partner in Asia, surpassing Japan for the first time in more than 35 years.

The U.S. survey, commissioned by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, showed 39 percent of the American public chose China as the most important U.S. partner, while 31 percent selected Japan.

The Gallup poll also showed U.S. opinion leaders in government, education, religion and labor choosing Beijing over Tokyo as the most important U.S. partner by a 46 to 28 percent margin. The foreign ministry says economic and trade relations in large part drove the perceptions of the 1,200 ordinary Americans and opinion leaders who responded to the survey.

The same poll showed nearly 85 percent of the American public and 90 percent of its leaders viewing Japan as a “dependable ally or friend.” More than 90 percent of both groupings said the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty should be maintained because it contributes to stability and peace in Japan and the rest of the East Asia and Pacific region.

The treaty, signed in 1960, commits the United States to help defend Japan if that country comes under military attack. It also contains provisions for U.S. bases in Japan for U.S. armed forces in the Pacific.


The survey also shows 97 percent of those polled see Japan as “a country with great traditions and culture,” while 91 percent see it as a country with a strong economy and high technology. Eighty-eight percent cited Japan for its creativity in animation, fashion and cuisine.

In a separate survey last week, 85 percent of Japanese respondents said they held a favorable view of the United States, compared with 66 percent a year ago. International political analysts attribute the approval jump to U.S. aid in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami that devastated northeastern Japan in March.