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Japan PM is the most disliked foreign leader among S.Koreans

Japan PM is the most disliked foreign leader among S.Koreans

SEOUL, March 5 (Yonhap) -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been picked as the most unpopular foreign leader among South Koreans, a poll showed Wednesday, reflecting worsening bilateral relations over nationalistic moves by Tokyo.

The survey of 1,000 South Koreans by the Asan Institute for Policy Studies said that Abe was given an average of 1.11 out of the full 10 points in terms of favorability.

It was the lowest score among the state heads of five countries including the U.S., China, Russia and North Korea, according to the poll.

North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un was given 1.27 points, the poll showed.

The institute said that it was the first time Abe ranked the lowest since the poll was launched last July.

Japan, as a nation, was given an average of 2.27 out of 10, also becoming the most unpopular listed country among South Koreans, the poll also showed.

The North received 2.71 points, its highest figure in recent months, mainly due to the recent mood of rapprochement with South Korea, it said.

The unfavorable poll results for Abe come amid icy South Korea-Japan relations, corresponding with the Abe administration's continuing nationalist remarks and actions regarding its World War II aggression and atrocities.

The prime minister's visit last December to the Yasukuni war shrine, which honors Japanese WWII criminals along with other war dead, has inflamed public sentiment here, further souring bilateral ties.

The Japanese government's renewed attempts to lay claim to the easternmost South Korean islets of Dokdo have also prompted angry reactions from Seoul.

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5-3-2014 09:48

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