Polls show China and Japan back Obama

By Alie Barbieri

A survey conducted by AFP Ipsos Hong Kong found that citizens of China and Japan have placed an overwhelming support on Barack Obama to serve out another four years.

The online poll – carried out in September and October – found that a staggering 86% of Japanese citizens back President Obama compared to only 12.3% who back rival candidate Republican Mitt Romney.

Although the Chinese are three times more likely than Japan to approve of Romney, according to the poll, the vast majority of Chinese citizens (63%) also back Barack Obama to win the 2012 elections.

According to a Pew Research Centre survey carried out in October, many Chinese – specifically the wealthier, well-educated and urban Chinese – are drawn to the American style of democracy, with 52% saying they admire the American ideas of democracy and only 29% saying they dislike them.

Analysts of the AFP Ipsos survey claim that Romney’s outspoken comments on Beijing’s currency manipulation and Japan’s economic decline have not impressed Chinese and Japanese citizens; Ipsos Hong Kong associate director Andrew Lam said to AFP that “It is possible that Romney’s strong stand on currency and trade, as well as his plan to have a stronger military capability in the Pacific, has led the Chinese to believe it is better to stay with the status quo”

The AFP Ipsos survey also showed that 81.1% of Japanese and 58.3% of Chinese favour Obama over Romney when considering who would be the best US president for Asian economic growth.

Despite research done by Pew Research Centre in September, which stated that confidence in the president had fallen in China since 2009, Romney’s strategy has not been favoured by Chinese citizens, leading them to turn to Obama’s democratic ideals instead.

Although the poll has shown overwhelming numbers of Chinese and Japanese citizens favouring Obama, it also showed that many are indifferent to the US election – 47.7% of Chinese and 30.3% of Japanese.

The poll surveyed around 1,000 people in each country, and is publicly released Monday 5th of November.

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