As we were preparing to tour South Korea and then Japan, I found this article in the Tokyo Times, dated 5 months ago (approximately April 2013),
Around 71 percent of Japanese believe the state of Japan-South Korea relations is “bad”, according to a joint survey conducted by The Yomiuri Shimbun and The Korea Times. The result is a record, as the previous survey, conducted in 2011, showed that only 27 percent of the Japanese gave the same answer.
The major change is partially caused by the South Korean President Lee Myung Bak’s visit last August to the Takeshima islets, which are called Dokdo in Korea, according to the international press.
The survey was made on telephone between 22 and 24 March, after the inauguration of new governments in the two countries – the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe started at the end of December and the new South Korean government led by President Park Geun Hye established two months later.
On the Korean side, about 78 percent of the interviewed people said the relations between Japan and South Korea are “bad”, up from 64 percent in the previous survey.
About 86 percent of Japanese considered Lee’s visit to the Takeshima islets to be “inappropriate” while 67 per cent of their Korean counterparts regarded it as “appropriate.”
As for the impact of the Abe administration on the bilateral relations, 30 percent of Japanese said it will be “positive”, while 9 percent said “negative”. Most of the surveyed people, around 52 percent, answered “neither”.
That will certainly make the journey interesting for us.