January 2007 Nikkei Regular Telephone Interview Poll (07-3)

Key Issues
  • Support for the Abe administration
  • Issues for upcoming Diet session
  • Education reform
  • House of Councillors election
  • Constitutional reform
Dates Conducted

January 26 – 28, 2007

Methodology

Nationwide poll. See below for age and gender breakdown.

Background

The Diet opened for its annual 150-day session on January 25th with a speech from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe emphasizing his desire to move away from the so-called postwar regime. This change includes the Abe Cabinet’s revisions to the 1947 Fundamental Law of Education, which has reintroduced patriotism into school curricula. The debate between the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and the minority Democratic Party of Japan over the revisions to the Fundamental Education Law is predicted to intensify in the spring and summer as the nation nears the House of Councillors’ election. In addition, Abe is expected to call for a bill that would outline the process of a national referendum on revising the constitution. Further, the Abe administration seeks to push a bill that will revise the Teacher License Law, the School Education Law, and strengthen the position of school boards in deciding school curricula.

 

Survey

Q1: Do you support or not support the Abe Cabinet? (N=905)

Support 48%
Do not support 41
Can’t say/ don’t know 11

 

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=434)

Because it is an LDP cabinet 24%
Good policies 8
Good sense of international affairs 15
Leadership 5
Stability 10
Can trust members’ personalities 52
Politically clean 25
Other 5
Can’t say/ don’t know 4

 

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=373)

Because it is an LDP cabinet 21%
Bad policies 37
Bad sense of international affairs 9
Leadership 54
Instability 34
Can’t trust members’ personalities 12
Politically unclean 7
Other 4
Can’t say/ don’t know 3

 

Q2: What political party do you currently support? Please choose only one. (N=905)

Liberal Democratic Party 35%
Democratic Party ofJapan 12
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 43
Can’t say/don’t know 4

 

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=427)

Liberal Democratic Party 14%
Democratic Party ofJapan 19
Komeito 0
JapanCommunist Party 3
Social Democratic Party ofJapan 2
The People’s New Party 0
The New Party ofJapan 0
Other 1
Do not support any party 49
Can’t say/don’t know 13

[Support+Preferable parties (N=905)]

Liberal Democratic Party 41%
Democratic Party ofJapan 21
Komeito 3
JapanCommunist Party 3
Social Democratic Party ofJapan 1
The People’s New Party 0
The New Party ofJapan 0
Other 0
Do not support any party 23
Can’t say/don’t know 6

 

Q3: Do you support or not support the Abe Cabinet’s first four months of performance? (N=905)

Support 29%
Not support 55
Neither support nor not support 7
Can’t say/ don’t know 9

 

Q3SQ1: For those who answered “support” in Q3, what is the primary reason for your answer? Please choose only one of the following. ( N=264)

Efforts toward fiscal reconstruction 8%
Efforts toward education reform 40
Restoration of party membership to opponents of postal privatization 2
Reconsideration of highway appropriations 3
Confronting problems associated with “government and money” 6
Elevation of the Japan Defense Agency to the Ministry of Defense 2
(Abe’s) visit toChinaandSouth Korea 16
Response toNorth Koreanuclear test 14
Other 0
Can’t say/ don’t know 8

 

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=500)

Efforts toward fiscal reconstruction 14%
Efforts toward educational reform 12
Restoration of party membership to opponents of postal privatization 20
Reconsideration of highway appropriations 6
Confronting problems associated with “politics and money” 22
Elevation of the Japan Defense Agency to the Ministry of Defense 8
(Abe’s) visit toChinaandSouth Korea 1
Response toNorth Koreanuclear test 8
Other 2
Can’t say/ don’t know 6

 

Q4: In regards to positions on reform, how do you rate Abe’s cabinet as compared to Koizumi’s cabinet? (N=905)

Positively 7%
Negatively 41
Hasn’t changed 43
Can’t say/don’t know 10

 

Q5: What do you expect to be the issues of debate for the ordinary session of Diet, convened on January 25? (N=905)

Economic reconstruction 17
Educational rejuvenation 15
Problems stemming from “politics and money” 10
Reform of the public servant system 7
Social Insurance Agency reform 9
Centralization of welfare and mutual aid pension 11
Rethinking employment and hiring rules 6
Implementing constitutional reform 8
Foreign policy 4
Other 1
Can’t say/ don’t know 13

 

Q6: What do you think is the most important theme of the “education revitalization” that the Abe administration is confronting? (N=905)

Bullying counter-measures 15%
Reconsidering the “Education with breathing space” system 23
Strengthening public school systems 6
School staff license renewal system 11
External school rating system 2
Expansion of the school choice system 2
Reform of the education committee 15
Improving the level of higher education including universities 2
Strengthening consciousness of discipline and standards 9
Other 1
Can’t say/ don’t know 13

 

Q7: In the House of Councillors election this summer what party or what party’s candidate do you want to vote for? (N=905)

Liberal Democratic Party 33%
Democratic Party ofJapan 19
Komeito 4
JapanCommunist Party 3
Social Democratic Party ofJapan 2
The People’s New Party 0
The New Party ofJapan 0
Other 3
Do not support any party 11
Not yet decided 10
Will not vote 0
Cast a blank ballot 0
Can’t say/ don’t know 14

 

Q8: What do you think about Prime Minister Abe making constitutional reform an issue of the House of Councillors election? (N=905)

Think it is appropriate 40%
Think it is inappropriate 40
Can’t say/ don’t know 20

 

Q9: Do you or do you not think there should be a change in the majority and minority parties? (N=905)

Should change 57%
Should not change 29
Can’t say/ don’t know 14

 

Q10: To what degree do you have interest in politics? (N=905)

Very interested 16%
More or less interested 57
Not really interested 14
Not interested at all 3
Can’t say/ don’t know 9

 

Poll Characteristics

F1: Gender (judged by interviewers, N=905)

Male 45%
Female 55
Unknown 0

 

F2: Age (N=905)

20s 5%
30s 17
40s 17
50s 23
60s 16
70s 19
Refused to answer 3

F3: What is your occupation? Please choose one of the following. (N=905)

Agriculture, forestry, fishing 6%
Employed (corporate employee, bureaucrat, teacher, etc.) 41
Self-employed (business, engineer), freelance (including family business) 13
Housewife (without any outside job) 19
Student 2
Unemployed 17
Refused to answer 3

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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