Here’s a striking example of how strained the relationship is between South Korea and Japan: The latest survey from Asan Institute for Policy found that among South Koreans, North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un scored higher in favorability ratings than Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
It’s a first for the Seoul-based policy institute, but it shows just how bad many of Abe’s actions have been perceived outside of Japan.
The Diplomat reports:
Both China and South Korea in particular have grown noticeably cold towards Japan — not entirely without reason, as Abe has given them plenty of reason for concern. Abe’s decision to visit Yasukuni Shrine in December 2013 added to concerns that he was out to revise Japan’s post-war pacifist stance.
In fairness, neither leader scored very high. As The Wall Street Journal reports, Kim Jong-Un scored 1.3 on the 10-point scale, while Abe scored 1.1.
But it is rather amazing the dictator could score higher, considering North Korea’s near-constant provocations of war, harsh treatment of its own citizens, and searing rhetoric towards the South Korean neighbour it refers to as a “puppet regime.”
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