As China Rises, Americans Seek Closer Ties with Japan
While the American public is hesitant to get involved in a conflict between China and Japan, Americans across party lines want to build strong relations with US allies in Asia.
Americans view the US-Japan relationship as an important one for the US economy (91%) and for US security (79%).
Across the political spectrum, Americans prefer closer ties with traditional allies (66%), even if doing so diminishes US relations with China. This is one of the few issues where the gap between Republicans and Democrats narrowed in the 2018 survey.
Public support for US bases in Japan is at an all-time recorded high of 65 percent, with majority support among Republicans (72%), Democrats (65%), and Independents (61%).
The American public supports defending Japan against North Korean attack (64% favor) but does not support involving US troops in a Japan-China conflict over disputed islands (41% favor).
Americans’ rating of Japan’s global influence has declined, going from 6.6 in 2002 to 5.7 in 2018 (mean rating on a 0-10 scale).