An annual public opinion survey shows that increasing numbers of people in Japan and South Korea think that bilateral relations are good. The figures are the highest since the survey started 10 years ago.
The survey was carried out in August and September by a Japanese think tank, The Genron NPO, and South Korea's East Asia Institute. About 1,000 people from each country responded.
The results released on Thursday show that 29 percent of Japanese respondents and 12.7 percent of those in South Korea said the current state of bilateral relations is "very good" or "somewhat good."
Asked whether they think relations will get better in the future, 38.5 percent of Japanese respondents agreed, up 8.6 points from last year. In contrast, 28.8 percent of those in South Korea think relations will improve, a fall of 1.2 points from last year.
The survey organizers say people on both sides appear to have welcomed the resumption of summits between their leaders and other efforts to improve ties. But they add that South Koreans are apparently unhappy about the way their country has dealt with bilateral issues such as wartime labor.
The Genron NPO's Kudo Yasushi points out that relations have been improving but this is an ongoing process, and it is important to link such moves to a shared vision for the future of both countries.