Asahi Shimbun January Opinion Poll (07-1)

Key Issues
  • Support for the Abe Cabinet
  • The House of Councillors election
  • Constitutional reform
  • Leadership of the LDP and DPJ
  • Economy
Dates Conducted

January 20 and 21, 2007

Date Released

January 23, 2007 (Morning edition of the Asahi Shimbun)

Methodology

The poll was conducted by telephone on January 20 and 21, 2007, of voters from across Japan using a three-stage random sampling method (the Asahi RDD). The total number of those polled was 1915, with a 56 % response rate. 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 in December, 2006.

Background

The Abe Cabinet has come under fire recently from opposition leader Ichiro Ozawa over the prime minister’s decision to prioritize constitutional reform. Ozawa believes that the livelihood of the Japanese people should take precedent over constitutional reform, but Abe contends that he is able to confront both issues effectively at the same time. The debate over these issues that will take place in the ordinary session of Diet is predicted to be a pre-campaign of the Liberal Democratic Party and the Democratic Party of Japan for the upcoming House of Councillors election this summer.

Survey

Q1. Do you support the Abe cabinet?

Support 39 % (47)
Do not support 37 (32)

 

Q2. Why? (Choose one of the following. The left are those 39% who answered “support”, and on the right are the 37% who answered “Do not support”.)

The prime minister is Abe 19 %[8] 4 [2]
The cabinet is primarily LDP 28 [11] 27 [10]
Cabinet’s policies 22 [9] 58 [22]
Just because 27 [11] 8 [3]

 

Q3. Which political party do you support right now?

Liberal Democratic Party 32% (36)
Democratic Party ofJapan 16 (14)
Komeito 3 (4)
Japan Communist Party 2 (3)
Social Democratic Party 1 (2)
The People’s New Party 0 (0)
The New Party ofJapan 0 (0)
Others 1 (0)
Do not support any party 40 (36)
No answer/ do not know 5 (5)

 

Q4. The House of Councillors election is this summer. To what degree do you have interest in this election?

Great interest 26%
Somewhat interested 47
Don’t really have interest 22
Don’t have any interest at all 5

 

Q5. Prime Minister Abe has indicated that he will make constitutional reform an issue of the House of Councillors election. Do you think making constitutional reform an issue of the election is appropriate or not?

Appropriate 32%
Don’t think it is appropriate 48

 

Q6. Do you think that the Liberal Democratic Party can win, or cannot win in the House of Councillors election under the leadership of Prime Minister Abe?

Can win 44%
Cannot win 28

 

Q7. Do you think that the Democratic Party of Japan can win, or cannot win in the House of Councillors election under the leadership of Representative Ozawa?

Can win 13%
Cannot win 61

 

Q8. Do you think that Abe is a politician who is close to the feelings of the Japanese people, or a politician who is far from the feelings of the people?

A politician who is close to the feelings of the people 32%
A politician who is far from the feelings of the people 50

 

Q9. Do you think that the Abe Cabinet is strong, or do you think that it is unreliable? (The numbers in parentheses are data collected from a poll conducted on September 26th and 27th , 2006)

It is a strong cabinet 12% (23)
It is an unreliable cabinet 67 (34)

 

Q10. Under the leadership of Abe, do you think, or not think that the Liberal Democratic Party will revert to the “Old Liberal Democratic Party”?

It will revert 36%
Don’t think that it will revert 45

 

Q11. The problems associated with the appropriations of political funds by ministers of the Abe Cabinet—Matsuoka, the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries; and Ibuki, the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology—have surfaced. Do you think that the truth has been made clear, or not been made clear on the matter?

Made clear 2%
Not been made clear 85

 

Q12. The Prime Minister recently met with the leaders of China and South Korea at the East Asian Summit and discussed the North Korea problem and the history problem. Do you support, or do you not support Prime Minster Abe’s postures toward China and North Korea?

Support 60%
Do not support 24

 

Q13. Next, the Democratic Party of Japan will be discussed. As the first opposition party of Japan, do you, or do you not think that the Democratic Party is fulfilling its duty.

Fulfilling 17%
Not fulfilling 69

 

Q14. Do you or do you not want the Democratic Party to have the ability to be in charge of political power?

Want it to be able to be in charge of political power 60%
Don’t want it to be able to be in charge of political power 30

 

Q15. Next, the economy will be discussed. Currently, do you think the economy will get better, get worse, or not change at all?

Get better 20% (19)
Get worse 15 (19)
Not change 62 (57)

 

Q16. Do you or do you not feel that your household income has increased?

Feel it has 5%
Feel it has not 89

 

Q17. The Abe cabinet has initiated policies supporting the development of new enterprises in order to further progress the Japanese economy. The Democratic Party has strongly appealed to correct the disparity existing in society. Which do you feel is a priority to Japan: economic progress, or disparity correction?

Economic progress 30%
Disparity correction 45

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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