DUBAI: Residents of the UAE lead the way among Arabs polled as the most likely to have traveled to Japan, an influential regional survey has revealed.
The YouGov poll commissioned by Arab News as part of the recent launch of its Japan edition, shows that Arab residents of the UAE are more likely than the average Arab to have visited Japan.
With 13 percent of UAE residents having visited Japan, it is by far the highest percentage out of the 18 Arab countries polled, where the average for all Arab respondents having visited was 4 percent.
More than 80 percent of UAE respondents said they would like to visit Japan, with 74 percent saying they would be interested in traveling to Japan to visit world heritage sites, 47 percent to enjoy Japanese food and 46 percent to experience Japanese traditional arts.
More than 60 percent of UAE respondents said they see the Japanese as hardworking, 48 percent said they are organized, and 42 percent said they are punctual.
The UAE-specific findings of the survey were presented at a reception in Dubai hosted at his official residence by Dr. Akima Umezawa, the Consul-General of Japan in Dubai. Members of the Emirati and Japanese communities were invited, as were government officials, the media and prominent business executives.
Speaking at the event, Dr. Umezawa highlighted the importance of the study and congratulated Arab News on the launch of its Japan edition.
“I hope it will be a bridge between Japan and the Arab region in general, and Japan and Saudi Arabia in particular,” he said.
“We, Arabs and Japan, are very special. In the 1970s and 1980s, ‘Made in Japan’ products expanded in the Arab market. However, there is still a missing link, but with Arab News Japan established we have opened another page where we can have direct news from the Arab region.”
“The poll shows an overwhelmingly positive perception of Japan, but also a number of inaccurate ideas that we hope we can rectify with our online edition Arab News Japan, which was launched in Tokyo on October 21.”
Abbas said Arab News had been “humbled” by the warm welcome in Tokyo for its Japan edition, and he added: “This is not the end, but just the beginning.” He said: “Our pledge to you is that we will continue to be passionate about this great relationship.
“This project is about building bridges, in honor of the relationship we have with Japan. It’s recognizing that we need our Japanese friends as much as the Japanese need us.”
The Arab News YouGov survey was based on online interviews with 3,033 Arabic speakers from 18 Arab countries.
Arab News Japan was launched on October 21st in conjunction with the enthronement ceremony of Emperor Naruhito.
The launch was held under the patronage of Tokyo’s Gov. Yuriko Koike, with keynote speeches from Japan’s Defense Minister Taro Kono and Saudi Commerce and Investment Minister Majed Al-Qasabi.