Some 44.2 percent of surveyed U.S. citizens are opposed to the United States taking military action against North Korea while nearly the same proportion of the respondents support the idea of Japan and South Korea arming themselves with nuclear weapons, a Japan-U.S. survey showed Thursday.
The survey conducted by Japanese think tank Genron NPO and the University of Maryland showed 32.5 percent of responding U.S. citizens support military action against North Korea, but diplomatic efforts are still viewed as the most effective way to rein in the reclusive state's nuclear development.
As for Japanese citizens, more people are against military options or arming themselves or South Korea with nuclear weapons.
Some 48.3 percent of Japanese respondents said they are against the United State engaging in military operations, with 20.6 percent in favor of such a move.
The survey was conducted for about two weeks from Oct. 21, after Pyongyang conducted a number of activities including its 6th nuclear test, the test-firing of an intercontinental ballistic missile and threatening to fire missiles into the sea near Guam, collecting 1,000 valid responses from Japanese and 2,000 from U.S. citizens.
The largest portion of the U.S. respondents, or 35.3 percent, see multilateral diplomatic efforts as most effective in making North Korea give up its nuclear development, and 21.6 percent said China, North Korea's main benefactor, needs to get tougher on the country. Only 10.8 saw a military strike as the best course of action.
On nuclear armament, 40.0 percent of U.S. citizens said they favor a nuclear-armed Japan and 40.6 percent said they have the same idea for South Korea.
Opposition against possessing nuclear power remains strong in Japan, which suffered U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War II.
The survey showed 68.7 percent of Japanese are against Japan's nuclear armament and 68.0 percent against South Korea's possession.
On the possibility of the United States bringing in nuclear weapons to Japan or South Korea, 51.6 percent of U.S. citizens said they favor the move while 50.5 percent of Japanese said they are against it.
On U.S. President Donald Trump's handling of issues related to Pyongyang, about 60 percent of both responding U.S. and Japanese citizens said they view his approach as being inappropriate. Reasons for disagreeing with Trump's approach were not provided in the survey.
The Japanese part of the survey was conducted on a door-to-door basis with interview sheets collected later, targeting men and women aged 18 or above nationwide.
In the United States, the survey was carried out through emails and telephone on people randomly selected based on the national population census.