Asahi Shimbun April 2007 Opinion Poll (07-12)

Key Issues
  • Constitution revision
Dates Conducted

April 14 and 15, 2007

Date Released

May 2, 2007

Methodology

The poll was conducted by telephone on April 14 and 15, 2007, of voters from across Japan using a three-stage random sampling method (the Asahi RDD). The total number of those polled was 1807, with a 54% response rate. The numbers in [ ] are the percentages of those polled as compared to the entire population of those who answered.

Survey

Q1. Which political party do you currently support?

Liberal Democratic Party 31%
Democratic Party of Japan 14%
Komeito 4%
Japan Communist Party 3%
Social Democratic Party 2%
The People’s New Party 0%
The New Party of Japan 0%
Others 0%
Donot support any party 41%
No answer/do not know 5%

 

Q2. May 3rd will mark the 60th anniversary of the promulgation of the Constitution. Do you ordinarily talk about the Constitution in settings such as your home or workplace?

Often 4%
Sometimes 30%
Almost never 43%
Never 23%

 

Q3. Article 9 of the Constitution stipulates that Japan “renounces war and will not maintain a military capability.” Do you think that Article 9 has helped Japan to live for 60 years without war and in a continuous state of peace, or not?

Helped 78%
Not helped 15%

 

Q4. Next, do you think that Article 9 of the Constitution has contributed to the peace and stability of East Asia, or not?

Has contributed 58%
Has not contributed 27%

 

Q5. The following question concerns the Self-Defense Forces. Some people think “today’s SDF violates the Constitution,” while others think it “does not violate the Constitution.” With which of these opinions do you agree? Do you think that the SDF “violates the Constitution,” or do you think that it  “does not violate the Constitution”?

Violates the Constitution 23%
Does not violate the Constitution 60%

 

Q6. The current Constitution does not mention the Self-Defense Forces. Do you think it is necessary to write the existence of the SDF into the Constitution, or not?

Necessary 56%
Not necessary 31%

 

Q7. Two years ago, the Liberal Democratic Party announced its draft version of a new Constitution, containing a clear reference to a “Self-Defense Army,” changing the name of the Self-Defense Forces to “Self-Defense Army.”  Regardless of whether to include it within the Constitution, do you think the name of the SDF should be changed to “Self-Defense Army,” or do you think it should be left as “Self Defense Forces”?

Should be changed to “Self-Defense Army” 18%
Should be left as “Self Defense Forces” 70%

 

Q8. The next question concerns future overseas operations by the Self-Defense Forces. Regarding the extent to which the Self-Defense Forces should be allowed to operate, which of the following is closest to your opinion? (Choose one)

Overseas operations should not be allowed at al 10%
Overseas operations should be allowed, so long as armed force is not used 64%
Armed force should be allowed when necessary 22%

 

Q9. Some people think that the current Constitution was forced on Japan by the United States. Which of the following is closest to your opinion? (Choose one)

Should be changed 33%
Should notbe changed 49%

 

Q10. Considering the current Constitution as a whole, do you think that it needs to be revised, or do you think that it does not need to be revised?

Needs to be revised 58%
Does not need to be revised 27%

 

QS1. (To the 58% of respondents who answered “needs to be revised”): Why?

To write our own Constitution 7%[4]
Because there is a problem with Article 9 6%[4]
To include new rights and institutions 84%[48]

 

QS2. (To the 27% of respondents who answered “does not need to be revised”): Why?

It has taken root among the people, and there are no problems that warrant revision 33%[9]
There is a danger that Article 9 might be changed 39%[11]
It helps to protect freedom and rights 25%[7]

 

Q11. Do you think that revision of the Constitution has become a realistic possibility, or do you think that it is an issue for the future?

Realistic possibility 59%
Issue for the future 31%

 

Q12. Prime Minister Abe has stated that he aims to revise the Constitution. Do you support revision of the Constitution under the Abe administration, or do you oppose it?

Support 40%
Oppose 42%

 

Q13. For you, is revision of the Constitution an important issue, or not?

Important issue 57%
Not important 35%

Disclaimer

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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