American Attitudes toward Japan and China, Decades of Polls

  • Laken, Faith (NORC, University of Chicago) ;
  • Kim, Jibum (Department of Sociology, Sungkyunkwan University) ;
  • Smith, Tom W. (NORC, University of Chicago)
  • Published : 2014.11.30


Gathering polling items about China and Japan from 1937 to 2011, we examine how Americans think about these two powerful East Asian countries. Our study investigates American attitudes from two perspectives. First, we analyze the content of polling items asked in the US about China and Japan to track changes in salient issues over a period of over 60 years. Second, by tracking repeated items, we show how American attitudes toward China and Japan have changed over time, both in long-term general favorability, and shorter-term perception of geopolitical, ideological, and economic threat in response to historical events.


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