Asahi Shimbun March 2007 Opinion Poll (07-9)

Dates Conducted

March 10 and 11, 2007

Date Released

March 13, 2007

Methodology

The poll was conducted by telephone on March 10 and 11, 2007, of voters from across Japan using a three-stage random sampling method (the Asahi RDD). The total number of those polled was 1788, with a 52% 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 February 17 and 18, 2007.

Background

The approval rating of Shinzo Abe’s administration has continued to decline due to public opinion concerning trust in his cabinet and his efforts towards policy issues.  One such issue has been Constitution reform, for which Abe wishes to set up a referendum in the Diet.  The results of the Abe administration’s policy efforts, as well as the state of his administration’s public approval rating, will determine the LDP’s success in the upcoming House of Councilors election.

 

Survey

Q1. Do you support the Abe cabinet?

Support 38% (37)
Do not support 41% (40)

 

QS1. Why? (Choose one of the following. The results in the left column are those 38% who answered “support,” and on the numbers in the right column are the 41% who answered “Do not support.”)

Abe is the Prime Minister 17% (6) 6% (2)
The cabinet is primarily composed of LDP members 26% (10) 19% (8)
Policies of the cabinet 23% (9) 60% (25)
Just because 31% (12) 13% (5)

 

Q2. Which political party to you currently support?

Liberal Democratic Party 32% (29)
Democratic Party ofJapan 12% (13)
Komeito 3% (2)
JapanCommunist Party 2% (2)
Social Democratic Party 1% (2)
The People’s New Party 0% (0)
The New Party ofJapan 0% (0)
Others 0% (1)
Do not support any party 45% (45)
No answer/ do not know 5% (6)

 

Q3. Almost six months have passed since the inauguration of Prime Minister Abe.  The following questions concern the following four policies tackled by the Abe Cabinet: economic policy, countermeasures against income disparity, education reform, and diplomacy in Asia.  First of all, do you support their efforts towards economic policy?

Support 22%
Does not support 54%

 

QS1.Next, do you support the Abe administration’s  efforts towards implementing countermeasures against income disparity?

Support 16%
Do not support 62%

 

QS2. Now then, do you support their efforts towards education reform?

Support 37%
Do not support 43%

 

QS3. And finally, do you support their efforts towards diplomacy in Asia?

Support 39%
Do not support 40%

 

Q4. Do you think that Abe presents his political views and beliefs accurately?  Or do you find his presentation to be vague? (The numbers in < > correspond to results of the poll conducted on November 11 and 12, 2006)

Political views and beliefs are presented accurately 24% <31>
Political views and beliefs are presented vaguely 66% <55>

 

Q5. The following question concerns the national referendum bill [to change the Constitution], the current focus of the National Diet.  Majority rule is required in order to reform the Constitution, but there is no law in place to determine that procedure.  Would you consider making a law that determines the procedures of national referendum to be necessary?

It is necessary 68%
It is unnecessary 19%

 

Q6. Prime Minister Abe wishes to establish a national referendum in the Diet, as part of his pursuit of constitutional reform.  Do you agree or disagree with Abe’s opinion, which is to approve the national referendum bill at the current Diet session?

Agree 48%
Disagree 32%

 

Q7. Elections for the House of Councilors will be held this summer.  Do you think the LDP can win under Prime Minister Abe or not? (Numbers in < > correspond to results of the poll conducted January 20 and 21, 2007)

I think the LDP will win 42% <44>
I think the LDP will not win 34% <28>

Follow-up Questions Concerning America in Iraq

Dates Conducted

March 10 and 11, 2007

Date Released

March 15, 2007

Key Issues

  • The Iraq War and Japan’s Self-Defense force

Background

The United States military invaded Iraq in March of 2003, and this decision has been met by controversy and skepticism throughout the world. In Japan, the Diet approved a bill that would extend ASDF operations to Iraq to transport the U.S. troops In Japan, the Air Self-Defense Force was approved for dispatch into the country, in order to provide transportation support for American troops.  While the original bill was only for one year of service, it has been extended multiple times, currently set to last until July of 2008.

 

Survey

Q1. Four years ago in March, America began the Iraq War.  Right now, do you consider America’s decision to go to war to be correct or not? (Numbers in parentheses correspond to results of the poll conducted October 2 and 3, 2004)

The decision was correct 12% (16)
The decision was incorrect 75% (71)

 

Q2. President Bush announced a plan in January to augment the military force in Iraq, in order to counter the insurgency and bring about public order.  Do you think that this increase in American military presence will lead to securing Iraq’s public order?

Will lead to 15%
Will not lead to 70%

 

Q3.President Bush is carrying out the “war on terror,” which started in Afghanistan, then subsequently spread to Iraq.  Looking at the issue globally, do you think these military movements are related to staving off terrorism?

It is related 24%
It is unrelated 57%

 

Q4. Japan has currently deployed its Air Self-Defense Force to Iraq to provide transportation support to American troops and their allies.  The basis of this deployment, the special measure law supporting Iraq’s reconstruction, will reach its four-year deadline in July.  Do you support extending the law  and maintaining the Air Self-Defense Force’s continued deployment?

Support 19%
Do not support 69%

 

Q5. Should the Japanese government continue to cooperate with the Bush administration’s policy in Iraq as they have up until now?  Or do you think they should reconsider their cooperation?

Should continue 18%
Should reconsider 69%

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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