Asahi Shimbun December 2008 Opinion Poll (08-28)

Key Issues
  • Support for the Aso Cabinet
  • Upcoming general election for the House of Representatives
  • Prime Minister Aso vs. DPJ President Ozawa
  • Legal adult age
Dates Conducted

December 6 and 7, 2008

Date Released

December 8, 2008 (Morning Edition of the Asahi Shimbun). The “question and answer” section was published on December 9, 2008 (Morning Edition of the Asahi Shimbun). The “legal adult age” section was published on December 10, 2008 (Morning Edition of the Asahi Shimbun).

Methodology

The poll was conducted by telephone on December 6 and 7 with voters from across Japan , whose telephone numbers were selected by a computer at random.  Subjects were selected using a three-stage random sampling method (the Asahi RDD).  The total number of those polled was 2074, with a 58% response rate.  Decimals were rounded up.  The numbers in [ ] are the percentages of those polled as compared to the entire population of those who answered.  The numbers in ( ) are the results from a poll conducted on November 8 and 9, 2008.

Survey

Q1.  The following question concerns current politics.  Do you support the Aso Cabinet, or not?

Support 22% (37)
Do not support 64% (41)

SQ1.  Why?  Please select one from the following four choices: (The results in the left column are from the 22% who answered “support,” and the results in the right column are from the 64% who answered “do not support.”)

Mr. Aso is the Prime Minister 18% [4] 9% [6]
The cabinet is primarily composed of LDP members 41% [9] 18% [11]
Policies of the cabinet 18% [4] 63% [40]
The ministers in the cabinet 12% [3] 6% [4]

Q2.  Which political party do you currently support?

Liberal Democratic Party 27% (30)
Democratic Party ofJapan 23% (24)
Komeito 2% (4)
JapanCommunist Party 2% (2)
Social Democratic Party 1% (1)
The People’s New Party 0% (0)
Reform Club 0% (0)
The New Party ofJapan 0% (0)
Other 0% (0)
Do not support any party 38% (33)
Can not say; Do not know 7% (6)

 

Q3.  Do you think the House of Representatives should be dissolved and an election held as quickly as possible or is there no need to rush? [Numbers in ( ) are results from a survey conducted October 25 and 26, 2008]

As quickly as possible 51% (33)
No need to rush 40% (57)

Q4.  If the general election were being held today, which party would you vote for in your proportional-representation district?  Please answer with the party’s name.

Liberal Democratic Party 28% (30)
Democratic Party ofJapan 36% (33)
Komeito 3% (5)
JapanCommunist Party 3% (4)
Social Democratic Party 2% (1)
The People’s New Party 0% (0)
Reform Club 0% (0)
The New Party ofJapan 0% (0)
Other 1% (1)
Can not say; Do not know 27% (26)

Q5.  Do you think that it would be best for the administration to continue to be centered on the LDP?  Or do you think that there should be a change, to an administration centered on the Democratic Party of Japan?

Administration centered on the LDP 29% (29)
Administration centered on the DPJ 43% (40)

Q6.  Comparing Prime Minister Aso and JDP President Ozawa, which do you think is more suited to be prime minister?

Mr. Aso 30% (49)
Mr. Ozawa 35% (23)

Q7.  Do you think Prime Minister Aso has the ability to get things done or do you think he does not have the ability to get things done?

He has the ability 21%
He does not have the ability 68%

 

Q8.  How do you evaluate Prime Minister Aso’s performance?  Please pick one from the following four options:

Exceeds expectations 1%
As expected 12%
Below expectations 44%
Did not have expectations to begin with 40%

Q9.  Prime Minister Aso has announced that the supplementary budget which includes an economic stimulus package in addition to economic policies will be submitted next year in January during the Diet session.  Are you in agreement or disagreement over Prime Minister Aso’s decision to submit the budget in January?

Agree 23%
Disagree 60%

Q10.  Until now, the government has been taking measures to control increasing social security costs and decreasing the number of public works projects for purposes of fiscal reconstruction.  However, for next year’s budget they will change their current course to fiscal reform and will instead under the new plan increase spending in order to boost the economy.  Do you approve or not approve of this new plan?

Approve 48%
Do not approve 35%

Q11.  Switching topics, currently those 18 and older are allowed to cast votes in referendums on the new Constitution.  This has spurred discussions on changing the legal adult age.  The following questions are related to this topic.  First, are you in favor or opposed to lowering the voting age for electing Diet Members from 20 to 18 years old?

In favor 38%
Oppose 57%

Q12.  Next, since civil law defines the adult age to be 20 years old, any minors under 20 years require parental consent to marry or enter into an agreement or contract.  Are you in favor or opposed to lowering the adult age under civil law from 20 to 18 years old?

In favor 37%
Oppose 56%

SQ1. For those 37% who answered “in favor,” what is your reason?  Please pick one out of the following three choices:

Have the ability to make good judgments 19% [7]
Provides them with the consciousness of being an adult 63% [23]
Many other countries have their legal adult age at 18 years old 14% [5]

 

SQ2.  For those 56% who answered “oppose,” what is your reason?  Please pick one out of the following three choices:

Do not have the ability to make good judgments 43% [24]
Many are not yet independent economically 41% [23]
The notion of “at 20 year an adult” is well established 15% [8]

Q13.  Under juvenile law, people under the age of 20 are defined as “minors.”  As a general rule, when a crime is committed, instead of being sent to prison they are sent to reform schools, indicating a difference in treatment between “adults” and “minors.”  Do you think, under juvenile law “minors” should continue to be defined as under the age of 20 or should the law be redefined as under the age of 18?

Remain as under 20 years old 14%
Change it to under 18 years old 81%

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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