April 2006 Asahi Shimbun Regular Opinion Poll (06-2)

Key Issues
  • Support for Prime Minister Koizumi and his Cabinet
  • Koizumi’s image in the media
  • Support for Japanese political parties
Dates Conducted

April 22 - 23, 2006


The poll was taken of voters from across Japan who were selected by the three-stage random selection method (the “Asahi RDD” method). Approximately 55% of respondents (or 1947 people) fully answered the questionnaire. Figures in “[ ]” brackets represent the ratio to all the answers provided. Figures in “( )” parentheses indicate the results from an identical poll taken on March 18 and 19, 2006, unless otherwise noted.


As Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s tenure draws to a close in September 2006, Japanese are considering his accomplishments and potential legacy. Koizumi at one point had approval ratings in the high-80s, but his support has fallen in the wake of the Livedoor financial scandal that implicated the LDP. With just a few more months left to go in his term, Koizumi can accomplish very little and he is already considered something of a lame duck. In this vein, voters are considering several leading candidates to succeed Koizumi. Shinzo Abe remains the frontrunner, but the elder statesman Yasuo Fukuda’s stock has risen in recent weeks.


Q 1: Do you support the Koizumi Cabinet? Do you not support the Cabinet?

Support 50% (46)
Don't support 36% (38)


Q 2: What do you think is the reason for your support (figures in the left column) or lack of support (right column) for the Cabinet? Choose one from the following:

The prime minister is Koizumi 23% [11] 5% [2]
The prime minister is from the LDP 17% [8] 10% [3]
The policies 33% [17] 60% [22]
The government is a coalition 7% [3] 14% [5]
Somehow 18% [9] 9% [3]


Q 3: What do you consider to be the Koizumi Cabinet’s good points (figures in left column) and bad points (right column)? Choose one:

The prime minister's political position 23% (11) 5% (2)
Administrative and finance reform 23% (18) 13% (12)
Business and employment measures 8% (7) 23% (27)
Foreign and defense policies 7% (8) 34% (27)
Nothing in particular 39% (46) 17% (19)

Figures in parentheses indicate results from the poll conducted April 16-17, 2005.


Q 4: What political party do you support now?

Liberal Democratic Party 38% (39)
Democratic Party ofJapan 17% (13)
NewKomeito 3% (3)
Japanese Communist Party 2% (3)
Social Democratic Party 2% (1)
The People's New Party 0% (0)
New PartyNippon 0% (0)
[Free Coalition?] 0% (0)
Don't support any party 34% (36)
Can't answer/Don't know 4% (5)

Q 5: Mr. Ichiro Ozawa has been appointed the new chief representative (party president) of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ). Do you have high hopes for the DPJ now that it is led by Mr. Ozawa, or do you not have high hopes?

Have high hopes 50%
Don't have high hopes 43%


Q 6: Has your interest in politics increased due to the fact that Mr. Ozawa has become the DPJ representative, or not so much?

Interest has increased 33%
Not so much 62%


Q 7: It will soon be five years since the Koizumi Cabinet began. Looking at all the results of the Koizumi Cabinet up until now, please grade the Cabinet’s accomplishments on a 10-point scale. Please answer from zero to 10 points, with a good grade being six points or above, a bad grade being four points or below, and five points being if you cannot say whether your grade is good or bad.

0 points 2%
1 point 1%
2 points 2%
3 points 5%
4 points 12%
5 points 32%
6 points 22%
7 points 14%
8 points 7%
9 points 1%
10 points 1%


Q 8: Please grade on a 10-point scale the Koizumi Cabinet’s tackling so far of these four areas: “Economic policy”; “Postal privatization and other administrative reforms”; “Pensions and other social security policies”; and “Diplomacy.”

Economic policy Administrative reform Social security policy Diplomacy
0 points 2% 3% 9% 7%
1 point 1% 1% 3% 3%
2 points 2% 3% 6% 6%
3 points 8% 6% 16% 14%
4 points 14% 11% 22% 17%
5 points 33% 21% 26% 24%
6 points 20% 17% 9% 12%
7 points 9% 15% 4% 8%
8 points 5% 13% 2% 5%
9 points 1% 3% 0% 1%
10 points 2% 4% 1% 1%


Q 9: What do you think is appealing about Prime Minister Koizumi? Choose one:

Easy to understand 22%
Doesn't waver 15%
Politically clean 6%
Easy to relate to 19%
Good looking 6%
Nothing in particular 30%


Q 10: Next is a question about the five years since Mr. Koizumi has been prime minister. Has your interest in politics increased over these five years, or not so much?

Interest increased 57%
Not so much 39%


Qa: Also, do you think you can say that your quality of life has become better over these five years, or do you think it has become worse?

Become better 18%
Become worse 42%


Qb: (For the 18% who answered “become better”): Do you think your standard of living has become better because of the Koizumi Cabinet’s policies, or do you not think so?

Think so 29% [5]
Don't think so 64% [11]

Qc: (For the 42% who answered “become worse”): Do you think your standard of living has become worse because of the Koizumi Cabinet’s policies, or do you not think so?

Think so 43% [18]
Don't think so 45% [19]


Q 11: From what media source do you get most of your knowledge and information on politics? Choose one:

Newspapers 37%
Television 55%
Magazines and journals 1%
Internet 6%


Q 12: To what degree do you think television influences your impression of the Koizumi Cabinet? Choose one:

Greatly 22%
To some degree 55%
Not much 17%
Not at all 5%


Q 13: Do you have a favorable impression of the way Prime Minister Koizumi conducts himself in Diet sessions and press conferences, or don’t you?

Have favorable impression 47%
Don't have favorable impression 40%


Q 14: Prime Minister Koizumi has indicated his intention to leave his position in September, when his term as the LDP president expires. At this stage, Mr. Taro Aso, Mr. Shinzo Abe, Mr. Sadakazu Tanigaki, and Mr. Yasuo Fukuda’s names have risen as the leading candidates as the next prime minister after Mr. Koizumi. Among the following five choices, who do you think is appropriate for the next prime minister?

TaroAso 4% (5)
ShinzoAbe 45% (47)
SadakazuTanigaki 3% (4)
YasuoFukuda 20% (20)
Someone else 17% (13)


The Mansfield Foundation is responsible for the translation of this Asahi Shimbun poll, subject to the Mansfield Foundation terms of use (see below).

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