June Asahi Shimbun Regular Opinion Poll (06-4)

Key Issues
  • LDP presidential election
  • Bank of Japan Governor Fukui
  • US beef imports
  • Withdrawal of Japan Ground Self-Defense Force from Iraq
Dates Conducted

June 24 and 25, 2006

Date Released

June 27 and 28, 2006 (Morning editions of Asahi Shimbun)

Methodology

The poll was conducted by telephone on June 24 and 25, 2006, of voters from across Japan who were selected by the three-stage random selection method (the “Asahi RDD” method). The number of people who answered all the questions in full is 1965; the ratio of answers is 53%.

Background

As Prime Minister Koizumi’s tenure in office draws to a close, potential successors for Liberal Democratic Party president are being weighed by Japanese voters. Although Fukuda Yasuo’s stock has risen, frontrunner Abe Shinzo maintains a commanding lead over other party president candidates. Also in the news this month, Japan prepared for the return of Ground Self-Defense Force troops from their humanitarian relief mission in Samawah, Iraq. A force of 600 GSDF troops has been dispatched to Iraq since January 2004 as part of the Koizumi Cabinet’s contribution to the Iraqi reconstruction effort. The GSDF mission will be replaced by an Air Self-Defense Force dispatch that will be used to provide transportation support for coalition forces remaining in Iraq. In June, Tokyo also planned to resume imports of U.S. beef, which were banned for the second time after restricted beef parts were erroneously shipped to Japan earlier in the year. Japan has imposed beef import restrictions in the wake of mad cow disease incidents. Finally, Bank of Japan Governor Fukui Toshihiko came under criticism for investing in the scandal-ridden Murakami Fund.

Survey

Q1. Do you support or not support the Koizumi Cabinet?

Support 45% (45)
Do not support 41% (39)

Figures in parentheses are results from polls conducted May 20 and 21.

 

Q1a. What is the reason for your response above? Choose one from the following:

Of the 45% who support Of the 41% who do not support
The prime minister is Koizumi 21% (9) 7% (3)
The prime minister is from the LDP 15% (6) 8% (3)
Policy reasons 37% (17) 59% (24)
The government is a coalition 8% (3) 13% (5)
For whatever reason 17% (8) 12% (5)

Figures in parentheses are the percentage of total responses.

 

Q2. Now, what party do you support?

Liberal Democratic Party 35% (34)
Democratic Party of Japan 20% (19)
New Komeito 3% (3)
Japanese Communist Party 2% (2)
Social Democratic Party 1% (2)
The People's New Party 0% (0)
New Party Nippon 0% (0)
The Free Coalition 0% (0)
Some other party 0% (1)
Don't support any party 33% (37)
Can't answer/Don't know 6% (2)

Figures in parentheses are results from polls conducted May 20 and 21.

 

Q3. Are you paying attention to the September LDP elections for party president?

Paying attention 59%
Not paying attention 39%

 

Q4. At this stage, the names of Mr. ASO Taro, Mr. ABE Shinzo, Mr. TANIGAKI Sadakazu and Mr. FUKUDA Yasuo have risen as leading candidates to be the next prime minister after Mr. Koizumi. Who do you think is the most appropriate to be the next prime minister?

Aso Taro 5% (3)
Abe Shinzo 45% (41)
Tanigaki Sadakazu 3% (1)
FukudaYasuo 25% (29)
Someone else 12% (16)

Figures in parentheses are results from polls conducted May 20 and 21.

 

Q4a. (Asked of the 78% of respondents who chose one of the above four candidates.) Why do you think so? Choose one answer:

Has good policies and initiative 19% (15)
Seems to have real drive 32% (25)
Has a good personality and image 46% (36)

Figures in parentheses are the percentage of total responses.

 

Q4b. (Asked of the 78% of respondents who chose one of the four candidates.) Do you think you know the person you chose above fairly well? Or, do you just know him by face and name?

Know him well 31% (24)
Know him by face and name 66% (51)

Figures in parentheses are the percentage of total responses.

 

Q5. Do you want the next prime minister to continue the same reforms as Prime Minister Koizumi? Do you think the direction of the reforms is okay, but would like an alternative approach to be considered? Or, do you want the direction of the reforms to be changed?

Want the reforms to continue as is 17%
Direction of reforms is okay, but want an alternative approach to be considered 54%
Want the direction of reforms to be changed 23%

 

Q6. Do you have high hopes for the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) led by chief representative OZAWA Ichiro, or do you not have high hopes?

Have high hopes 45%
Do not have high hopes 48%

 

Q7. It has been revealed that Bank of Japan Governor FUKUI [Toshihiko] profited from his investment of 10 million yen into the Murakami Fund. What do you think about the top person at the Bank of Japan, where financial policies are decided, making such kind of investments?

It is a problem 80%
It is not a problem 15%

 

Q8. Do you think your trust in the Bank of Japan’s financial policymaking has been damaged by this incident, or not damaged?

Damaged 70%
Not damaged 25%

 

Q9. Do you think that Mr. Fukui should resign over this matter, or do you think that is unnecessary?

Must resign 67%
Not necessary to resign 25%

 

Q10. It has been decided that U.S. beef imports will be resumed at the end of July. Do you agree or disagree with the reopening of imports?

Agree 37%
Disagree 52%

 

Q11. Do you think you will want or not want to eat U.S. beef once it is imported again?

Want to eat 23% (30)
Do not want to eat 71% (62)

Figures in parentheses are results of the January 2006 poll.

 

Q12. The government has decided to withdraw Japan Ground Self-Defense Forces that have been dispatched to Iraq over the past two-and-a-half years. Do you think that the government’s decision to withdraw the GSDF now from Iraq is appropriate? Do you think the withdrawal should have been sooner? Or do you think that the GSDF should not have been withdrawn yet?

It is appropriate 34%
Should have been withdrawn sooner 53%
Should not have been withdrawn 6%

 

Q13. After the withdrawal of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force, the government will continue Air Self-Defense Force transport support operations for U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq, thereby planning to expand the scope of activities. Are you for or against the continuation of activities by the Air Self-Defense Force?

For 33%
Against 55%

 

Q14. Do you think the Self-Defense Forces deployment to Iraq has been good or not good for Japan?

Good 49%
Not good 35%

 

Q14a. Why do you think so (asked of the 49% who responded “good” above)? Choose one:

It was a plus for alliance relations with the U.S. 14% (7)
It demonstrated Japan's presence in the international community 30% (14)
It contributed to the rebuilding of Iraq 46% (22)
It has been a successful overseas activity for the Self-Defense Forces 9% (4)

Figures in parentheses are the percentage of total responses.

 

Q14b. Why do you think so (asked of the 35% who responded “not good” above)? Choose one:

It took the alliance relationship with the U.S.too much into account 25% (9)
It was not very useful to rebuilding raq 15% (5)
I opposed the Iraqwar itself 41% (14)
It is unconstitutional 15% (5)

Figures in parentheses are the percentage of total responses.

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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