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International relations

Nearly half of South Koreans demand harder line on Japan

Youths and seniors alike urge Moon to turn up the pressure

The governments of South Korean President Moon Jae-in, left, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe have clashed recently over such issues as wartime labor and the alleged radar lock-on.   © Kyodo

SEOUL -- The Moon administration should take a tougher stance on Japan, 45.6% of respondents to a recent survey said, as bilateral tensions rise over litigation on wartime labor and over a South Korean warship allegedly locking its fire control radar onto a Japanese patrol plane.

Among those calling for increased pressure, conservatives slightly outnumbered progressives -- core supporters of South Korean President Moon Jae-in. Many were aged 60 and older or in their 20s.

Those deeming Seoul's response appropriate accounted for 37.6% of respondents, while 12.5% said it should exercise restraint.

Realmeter conducted the telephone survey on Friday on behalf of news channel YTN, drawing responses from 505 of the 7,512 people it called. The result was more balanced than usual, given that 60% to 70% of respondents usually urge a stronger stance on Japan, the company said on a YTN show.

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