Last month’s warm reception to US diplomatic moves in Asia showed that US policy in the region resonates well with governments; a new poll from Japan indicates that in at least one important Asia country public opinion is also increasingly pro-US.According to the New York Times, a recent poll of Japanese citizens finds positive attitudes toward America at an all-time high of 82 percent:
Local news outlets said the results reflected the good will created here by Operation Tomodachi, or “friend,” in which 20,000 American military personnel members and 20 warships helped with rescue and relief operations after the deadly earthquake and tsunami on March 11. The reports also cited Japan’s insecurities about the rise of neighboring China, which many Japanese look to the United States, and its large military presence in Japan, to keep in check.According to the poll, 71 percent of respondents said they did not feel friendly toward China.
Promoting security arrangements that protect the liberty and safety of all the countries in the region while maintaining the capacity for military and humanitarian missions: that looks like the path American policy in Asia needs to pursue for some time. We won’t always be as popular as we are right now, but if we stay on this course we are likely to enjoy good relations with most Asian countries for many years to come.