TOKYO — Seventy years after the U.S. defeated Japan in World War II, Americans are divided over Japan playing a more active military role in Asia — and most Japanese are opposed.
The results of a Pew Research Center poll released Tuesday in Washington, D.C., come as the two countries are finalizing a revision of their mutual defense guidelines that is expected to expand the scope of Japan’s military activities in the region.
The telephone survey of 1,000 Americans and 1,000 Japanese also found a high degree of trust between the two nations, a shift from the animosity that prevailed in the 1980s and 1990s when the two countries were embroiled in trade disputes.
Some of the findings:
The U.S. government, stretched by global crises and tighter budgets, would welcome greater burden sharing by Japan in regional defense. Americans are less sure: 47 percent back a more active Japanese military in the Asia-Pacific, while 43 percent say, given its history, Japan should limit its role.