Japan belongs to Asia geographically, historically, and culturally, but its political system and economic development have had more affinity with the West than with the East. Australia and New Zealand, on the other hand, belong geographically to the Asian Pacific region but their historical, racial, and cultural identities, let alone their levels of economic development and forms of political system, are more closely linked to the West than to their Asia neighbors. Unlike Australia and New Zealand, however, Japan's deliberate attempt to maintain closer ties with the Western nations and to keep a distance from its Asian neighbors has generated a degree of resentment and even a tint of jealousy among the latter. Its Asian neighbors believe that Japan belongs with them, but to their chagrin it has behaved otherwise. At the same time, the Asians, cannot lightly dismiss Japan's crucial contribution to the formation of their positive mentality or optimistic outlook. That is, they, too, as non-western Asian, feel confident like their fellow Japanese: that they can be equal to and ever surpass the West in economic and political development.
Q. The author's attitude toward Japan is _____________.
I'm confused between 'balanced' and 'neutral,' but I think the former is more correct because the author suggests both negative and positive effect on its Asian neighbors: Not only has Japan generated a degree of resentment ~ but also it contributes to the formation of a positive mentality or optimistic outlook of its Asian neighbors.
What do you think of that? What's the answer to the question?