Twitter Users Strike Balanced View of Japan

(The Wall Street Journal) First impressions count. And despite facing its biggest crisis since World War II, according to Prime Minister Naoto Kan, it seems English-speaking Twitter users retained a more or less balanced view of Japan following the March 11 disasters and their worrying aftermath at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

A survey commissioned by the U.S.-Japan Council (USJC), a non-profit educational organization, has classified some 41% of English-language tweets containing the word “Japan” between March 11 and May 18 as positive in terms of expressing sympathy and respect for the Japanese, based on language used. Of the 9.8 million tweets surveyed by firm Webtrends Inc., that portion came very close to matching the 42% of tweets deemed negative, focused around the nuclear scare, with 17% described as containing neutral perceptions of Japan.

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