Updated: 02/12/2014 12:08 | By Agence France-Presse

Japan PM as unpopular as Kim Jong-Un, South Korean poll shows

With Seoul-Tokyo relations at their lowest ebb for years, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is as unpopular with South Koreans as North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, a new survey said on Wednesday. 


Japan PM as unpopular as Kim Jong-Un, South Korean poll shows

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, pictured during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on January 22, 2014 - by Eric Piermont

Following Abe's visit to a controversial war shrine in December, his already low favorability rating in South Korea declined to 1.0 on a 10-point scale, according to the poll carried out by the Asan Institute think-tank in Seoul said.

"This is the same favourability rating found for Kim Jong-Un," the institute said.

Nevertheless, half of the Korean public said they supported the idea of a South Korea-Japan summit and nearly 60 percent wanted President Park Geun-Hye to take a proactive role in improving ties.

Park has ruled out a summit with Abe until Tokyo demonstrates sincere repentance for "past wrongdoings." 

But she has held out the prospect of an eventual summit with Kim Jong-Un, despite the fact that North and South Korea remain technically at war.

Japan's 1910-45 colonial rule over the Korean peninsula remains a hugely emotive issue in South Korea, which feels successive Japanese governments have failed to apologise properly or atone for abuses committed during the period.

Japanese politicians express exasperation at the repeated requests for contrition, pointing to numerous apologies and a 1965 agreement that normalised relations and included a large payment to Seoul.

Abe's visit to the Yasukuni shrine, which commemorates around 2.5 million Japanese war dead including several high-level war criminals, was condemned by South Korea and China.

The Asan survey showed half of South Koreans identify an ongoing territorial dispute with Tokyo over a tiny set of islets as the main obstacle to improved relations.

The Dokdo islands -- known as Takeshima in Japan -- are controlled by South Korea, which sees Japan's rival claim as an example of its refusal to shed its imperialist past.

Latest Photo Galleries on xinmsn

NEWS VIDEOS

MORE NEWS VIDEOS

facebook recommendations

LIVE NEWS RADIO STREAMING

  • 938 Live

    938LIVE is Singapore's only English news and talk station which transmits round the clock with an engaging and enticing spread of programmes on current affairs, health, business and lifestyle as well as news every half hour until midnight.

  • Capital 958


    95.8FM城市频道的前身是"第三广播网"。上个世纪30年代末,新加坡就有中文广播,一路走来经过不少政治,社会局势的改变,中文广播在本地一直扮演举足轻重的角色。