December 2005 Nikkei Regular Telephone Opinoin Poll

December 2005 Nikkei Regular Telephone Opinion Poll

Dates Conducted

December 23 – 25, 2005

Date Released

December 27, 2005 (Nikkei Shimbun)

Methodology

The Nikkei Shimbun regularly conducts public opinion polls on attitudes toward the government and domestic policy issues. The telephone poll surveyed 904 males and females over the age of 20 throughout Japan.

Key Issues

  • Support for Prime Minister Koizumi
  • Post-Koizumi leadership
  • Feelings of trust toward the United States, China, South Korea and Russia
  • Support for Self-Defense Forces in Iraq

Background

This survey was conducted amid heightened domestic political maneuvering in Tokyo, as rival politicians positioned themselves to succeed Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi at the end of his term. Koizumi encouraged this competition, in part, by filling his fifth Cabinet with several potential contenders for the premiership. In mid-December, Koizumi openly encouraged Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe to run for prime minister, ending speculation about his most likely successor. News in Japan at this time also focused on the ongoing construction scandal. In November, reports surfaced that an architect had falsified data on numerous high-rise buildings throughout Japan that proved to be below current standards of earthquake resistance. The scandal raised anxiety about public safety in the earthquake-prone nation and the government’s role in enforcing building standards. The poll also looks at Japanese levels of trust toward neighboring nations, as historical disagreements and other strains in Japan’s diplomatic relations with mainland Asia continued to flare up.

Disclaimer

The Mansfield Foundation is responsible for the translation of this Nikkei Shimbun poll, subject to the Mansfield Foundation Terms of Use.

 

Survey

Q1. Do you support the Koizumi Cabinet or not? (N=904)

Support 59%
Don’t support 34%
Can’t say/don’t know 7%

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=529)

Because it is an LDP cabinet 15%
Good policies 14%
Good sense of international affairs 10%
Leadership 53%
Stability 14%
Can trust members’ personalities 24%
Clean 14%
Others 5%
Can’t say/don’t know 5%

Q1SQ2. For those who answered “don’t support” in Q1, what is the reason for your non-support? Please choose as many as apply from the following seven answers. (N=310)

Because it is an LDP cabinet 23%
Bad policies 42%
Bad sense of international affairs 36%
Lack of leadership 12%
Instability 20%
Cannot trust members’ personalities 28%
Not clean 3%
Others 5%
Can’t say/don’t know 5%

Q2. What political party do you currently support? Please choose only one. (N=904)

Liberal Democratic Party 37%
Democratic Party of Japan 15%
New Komeito 3%
Japanese Communist Party 3%
Social Democratic Party 1%
The People’s New Party 0%
New Party Nippon 0%
Others 0%
Don’t support any party 37%
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 have to choose one party, which party do you feel is most preferable? Please choose only one. (N=363)

Liberal Democratic Party 18%
Democratic Party of Japan 16%
New Komeito 3%
Japanese Communist Party 5%
Social Democratic Party 2%
The People’s New Party 0%
New Party Nippon 0%
Others 1%
Don’t support any party 44%
Can’t say/don’t know 12%

[Support + preferable parties (N=904)]

Liberal Democratic Party 44%
Democratic Party of Japan 22%
New Komeito 4%
Japanese Communist Party 5%
Social Democratic Party 2%
The People’s New Party 0%
New Party Nippon 0%
Others 0%
Don’t support any party 18%
Can’t say/don’t know 5%

Q3. What policy issues do you want the Koizumi Cabinet to prioritize? Please choose as many as apply from the following 14 answers. (N=904)

Economy 29%
Fiscal reform 20%
Tax reform 25%
Administrative reform/deregulation 6%
Diplomacy/national security issues 20%
Social security issues including pension and welfare 55%
Employment 22%
Education 23%
Reforms in political system 10%
So called “Sanmi ittai” or triple reform of central and local government taxing systems 15%
Local economy revitalization 16%
Constitutional issues 9%
Environmental issues 14%
Safety/crime control 22%
Others 1%
Can’t say/don’t know 11%

Q4. What do you think will happen to the Japanese economy next year? Please choose one of the following three answers. (N=904)

Will improve 20%
Will not change so much 61%
Will deteriorate 10%
Can’t say/don’t know 10%

Q5. How do you evaluate the reforms on which Prime Minister Koizumi worked this year, including the postal privatization, consolidation of government-run financial institutions, and personnel cost reduction in the central bureaucracy? Please choose one of the following four answers. (N=904)

Highly approve 12%
Approve to some extent 55%
Hardly approve 18%
Do not approve at all 4%
Can’t say/don’t know 11%

Q6. The discussion about raising the consumption tax rate is becoming vigorous within the government and ruling parties. What do you think about the relationship between social security and the tax burden? (N=904)

Raising the tax rate is inevitable to maintain the level of social security 33%
Should cut social security to some extent and restrain the tax increase 34%
Should avoid the tax increase even if social security is drastically cut 14%
Can’t say/don’t know 19%

Q7. Prime Minister Koizumi’s tenure as LDP president will end next September. Who do you think is appropriate as the next prime minister? Please choose only one of the following. (N=904)

Taro Aso 3%
Shinzo Abe 43%
Heizo Takenaka 5%
Sadakazu Tanigaki 1%
Yasuo Fukuda 7%
Ichiro Ozawa 5%
Naoto Kan 3%
Seiji Maehara 3%
Others 3%
Can’t say/don’t know 26%

Q8. Prime Minister Koizumi has suggested the possibility of cooperation with the Democratic Party of Japan in the context of Constitutional revision, and so forth. What framework of administration do you think would be desirable? Please choose one from the following five answers. (N=904)

Continuation of LDP-Komeito coalition administration 25%
LDP single-party administration 14%
LDP-DPJ large coalition administration 24%
DPJ single-party administration 6%
Non-LDP coalition administration centered around DPJ 10%
Others 2%
Can’t say/don’t know 19%

 

Q9. The Japanese government extended the period of the Self-Defense Force dispatch to Iraq for reconstruction operations by one year (to the end of December 2006). What do you think about the timing of the withdrawal? Please choose one of the following three answers. (N=904)

Should withdraw immediately 28%
Should withdraw during the first half of 2006 along with British troops and others 46%
Should continue activities until the U.S.withdraws its troops 11%
Can’t say/don’t know 14%

Q10 A. About the United States, please choose between “Can trust” and “Cannot trust.” (N=904)

Can trust 48%
Cannot trust 35%
Can’t say/don’t know 16%

Q10 B. About China, please choose between “Can trust” and “Cannot trust.” (N=904)

Can trust 14%
Cannot trust 69%
Can’t say/don’t know 17%

Q10 C. About South Korea, please choose between “Can trust” and “Cannot trust.” (N=904)

Can trust 33%
Cannot trust 50%
Can’t say/don’t know 17%

Q10 D. About Russia, please choose between “Can trust” and “Cannot trust.” (N=904)

Can trust 17%
Cannot trust 61%
Can’t say/don’t know 21%

 

 

Q11. The scandal involving falsified data on earthquake-resistant buildings is becoming a serious social issue. What do you think would be most effective in preventing this problem in the future? Please choose one from the following three answers. (N=904)

Toughen penalties against architects and real estate businesses that do not follow building codes 21%
Strengthen the governmental supervision on private architecture inspection entities 32%
Architecture approval should be handled entirely by public entities 32%
Can’t say/don’t know 16%

F1. Gender (judged by interviewers, N=904)

Male 43%
Female 57%
Unknown 0%

F2. Age (N=904, Average: 51.6)

20s 8%
30s 18%
40s 19%
50s 21%
60s 15%
Over 70 16%
Refuse to answer 2%

F3. What is your occupation? Please choose one from the following. (N=904)

Agriculture, forestry, fishery 4%
Employed (corporate employee, bureaucrat, teacher, etc.) 44%
Self-employed (business, engineer), freelance (including family business) 13%
Housewife (without any outside job) 22%
Student 2%
Unemployed 15%
Refuse to answer 2%

[Note: Figures appear as originally published by the Nikkei Shimbun.]

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