Febuary 2007 Nikkei Regular Telephone Interview Poll (07-4)

Key Issues
  • Support for the Abe Cabinet
  • Minister Yanagisawa’s comments on childbirth and women
  • Cabinet restructuring
  • Regional issues and their affect on the July House of Councillors’ election
Dates Conducted

February 23 – 25, 2007

Methodology

Nationwide poll. See below for age and gender breakdown.

Background

In January, in a speech addressing declining birthrates, Minister of Health, Labor, and Welfare, Hakuo Yanagisawa, called women birth-giving machines. This public faux pas by an Abe Cabinet member adds to a growing list of blunders committed by the current administration. Japan currently has a birthrate of 1.29 percent and a declining population. Despite this reality, many spoke out against Yanagisawa calling for his resignation. The opposition Democratic Party of Japan has used this controversy as leverage for its platform in the upcoming House of Councillors election. Although the minister has apologized publicly for his comments the negative impact that they have had may continue to adversely affect the Abe administration for months to come.

Also, on February 13, diplomats engaged in the Six-Party Talks with North Korea announced a breakthrough agreement aimed at dismantling the regime’s nuclear program. The agreement involved an initial shipment of heavy fuel oil to North Korea in exchange for the shutdown of the North’s Yongbyon nuclear facility and the admittance of International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors. Japan has refused to resume aide to the North until progress is made on the outstanding issue of the abduction of Japanese nationals by North Korean agents.

Survey

Q1: Do you support or not support the Abe Cabinet? (N=954)

Support 49%
Do not support 41
Can’t say/ don’t know 10

 

Q1SQ1: For those who answered “support” in Q1, what is the reason for your support? Please choose as many as apply from the following seven answers. (N=468)

Because it is an LDP cabinet 25%
Good policies 8
Good sense of international affairs 15
Leadership 5
Stability 9
Can trust members’ personalities 57
Politically clean 24
Other 5
Can’t say/ don’t know 6

 

Q1SQ2: For those who answered “don’t support” in Q1, what is the reason for your lack of support? Please choose as many as apply from the following seven answers. (N=390)

Because it is an LDP cabinet 17%
Bad policies 34
Does not have a sense of international affairs 14
Leadership 63
Stability 36
Can trust members’ personalities 9
Politically clean 2
Other 2
Can’t say/ don’t know 3

 

Q2: What political party do you currently support? Please choose only one. (N=954)

Liberal Democratic Party 35%
Democratic Party ofJapan 11
Komeito 3
JapanCommunist Party 2
Social Democratic Party ofJapan 1
The People’s New Party 0
The New Party ofJapan 0
Other 0
Do not support any party 46
Can’t say/don’t know 3

 

Q2SQ: For those who answered “don’t support any party” or “can’t say/don’t know” in Q2, if you had to choose one party, which party do you feel is most preferable? Please choose only one. (N=465)

Liberal Democratic Party 20%
Democratic Party ofJapan 20
Komeito 1
JapanCommunist Party 3
Social Democratic Party ofJapan 3
The People’s New Party 0
The New Party ofJapan 0
Other 1
Do not support any party 44
Can’t say/don’t know 8

[Support+Preferable parties (N=954)]

Liberal Democratic Party 44%
Democratic Party ofJapan 21
Komeito 3
JapanCommunist Party 3
Social Democratic Party ofJapan 3
The People’s New Party 0
The New Party ofJapan 0
Other 1
Do not support any party 21
Can’t say/don’t know 4

 

Q3: Do you support or not support the Abe Cabinet’s first four months of performance? (N=954)

Support 34%
Not support 52
Neither support nor not support 6
Can’t say/ don’t know 8

 

Q3SQ1: For those who answered “support” in Q3, what is the primary reason for your answer? Please choose only one of the following. ( N=324)

Efforts toward fiscal reconstruction 9%
Efforts toward education reform 21
Restoration of party membership to opponents of postal privatization 5
Confronting problems associated with “government and money” 7
Confronting problems with cabinet members’ statements 2
Elevation of the Japan Defense Agency to the Ministry of Defense 4
Posture towardKoreaandChina 12
Response toNorth Koreaproblem 33
Other 0
Can’t say/ don’t know 9

Q3SQ2: For those who answered “not support” in Q3, what is the primary reason for your answer? Please choose only one of the following. (N=494)

Efforts toward fiscal reconstruction 18%
Efforts toward educational reform 10
Restoration of party membership to opponents of postal privatization 14
Confronting problems associated with “politics and money” 14
Confronting problems with cabinet members’ statements 25
Elevation of the Japan Defense Agency to the Ministry of Defense 3
Posture towardKoreaandChina 2
Response toNorth Koreaproblem 8
Other 2
Can’t say/ don’t know 4

 

Q4: In regards to positions on reform, how do you rate Abe’s cabinet as compared to Koizumi’s cabinet? (N=954)

Positively 3%
Negatively 50
Hasn’t changed 37
Can’t say/don’t know 10

 

Q5: Do you think the Minister of Health, Labour, and Welfare, Yanagisawa, needs to resign because of his comments comparing women to ‘birthing machines’ (N=954)

Needs to resign 47%
Does not need to resign 43
Can’t say/ Don’t know 10

 

Q6: At the Six-Party Talks addressing the development of North Korea’s nuclear program, it was agreed that in return for the suspension of North Korea’s nuclear facilities that the six parties would supply crude oil to North Korea. Do you support this resolution? (N=954)

Support 47%
Do not support 43
Can’t say/ don’t know 10

 

Q7: Representative Ichiro Ozawa of the Democratic Party of Japan published the details of his office expenses. Do you think that the Cabinet and the staff of political parties should do likewise and publish their expenses? (N=954)

Should publish them 69%
Present conditions are fine 18
Can’t say/don’t know 13

 

Q8: Within the Liberal Democratic Party there have been voices in favor of cabinet restructuring. What do you think? (N=954)

There should be restructuring before the House ofCouncillorselection in July 29%
There should be restructuring after the House ofCouncillorselection in July 31
There is no pressing need to restructure 26
Can’t say/don’t know 15

 

Q9: To what degree do you have interest in the upcoming national local elections to be held in April? (N=954)

Very interested 21%
Interested to a degree 50
Not really interested 16
Not interested at all 3
Can’t say/don’t know 10

 

Q10: In what regional policy issue do you have the most interest in? Please choose only one from the following nine choices. (N=954)

Raising children/declining birthrates 10%
Education problems 12
Medical care/welfare 25
Employment security 9
Rebuilding local finance 12
Reducing interregional disparities 6
Environmental mitigation measure/city planning 3
Disaster and public order counter measures 3
‘Government and money’ issue 9
Can’t say/don’t know 12

 

Polling Information

F1: Gender (judged by interviewers, N=954)

Male 48%
Female 52
Unknown 0

 

F2: Age (N=954)

20s 8%
30s 16
40s 18
50s 20
60s 18
70s 17
Refused to answer 2

 

F3: What is your occupation? Please choose one of the following. (N=954)

Agriculture, forestry, fishing 3%
Employed (corporate employee, bureaucrat, teacher, etc.) 46
Self-employed (business, engineer), freelance (including family business) 10
Housewife (without any outside job) 17
Student 2
Unemployed 19
Refused to answer 2

Disclaimer

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

Terms of Use

The materials in this site are provided “as is” and without warranties of any kind, either express or implied. To the fullest extent permissible pursuant to applicable law, the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation (“the Foundation”) disclaims all warranties, express or implied, including, but not limited to, implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. The Foundation does not warrant that the materials will be error free or that errors will be corrected. The Foundation does not warrant or make any representations regarding the use or the results of the use of the materials in this site in terms of their correctness, accuracy, timeliness, reliability, or otherwise.

Sign me up for weekly updates

* Email
* First Name
* Last Name
Affiliation
* = Required Field