Yomiuri Shimbun February 2007 Opinion Poll (07-6)

Yomiuri Shimbun February 2007 Opinion Poll

Dates Conducted

February 17 and 18, 2007

Methodology

Yomiuri conducted the poll in individual interviews on February 17and 18 using a stratified two-stage random sample of 3,000 voters in 250 different locations. 1,739 people, or 58.0% of those selected, responded.

Key Issues

  •  Leadership of Prime Minister Abe
  • Assessment of the third session of the fifth round of six-party talks on North Korea held in mid-February
  •  Nationwide local elections that are scheduled in April

Background

This poll was conducted shortly after the six-party talks reached an agreement requiring North Korea to shut down its Yongbyon nuclear reactor in exchange for shipments of heavy fuel oil. No progress was made on the issue of Japanese abductees.Nationwide local elections are expected in April, so local governance has been a key domestic focus.

Disclaimer

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

 

Survey

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

Support 45.3% (48.4)
Do not support 42.7% (38.9)
Other 3.0% (4.4)
Do not know; No answer 9.0% (8.3)

Figures in parentheses are results from polls conducted in January 2007.

 

SQ1. [Those who answered “support” to Q1 only]

Please select up to two reasons from the list below of why you support the Abe Cabinet:

Positively evaluate its political stance 31.3% (27.4)
Feel that it is stable 10.2% (10.2)
Can trust the Prime Minister 25.3% (25.0)
Have a fresh image of the Prime Minister 39.8% (48.8)
Can support its economic policies 5.5% (3.1)
Can support its foreign policy 17.8% (18.2)
The coalition between the Liberal Democratic Party and the New Komeito Party 10.4% (8.9)
It is better than previous cabinets 8.3% (8.0)
Other; Do not know; No answer 5.1% (5.0)

Figures in parentheses are results from polls conducted in January, 2007.

 

SQ2. [Those who answered “do not support” to Q1 only]
Please select up to two reasons from the list below of why you do not support the Abe Cabinet:

Cannot positively evaluate its political stance 38.6% (40.3)
Do not feel that the cabinet is stable 33.0% (30.0)
Cannot trust the Prime Minister 21.7% (24.4)
The Prime Minister’s political experience is lacking 17.4% (19.8)
Cannot support the administration’s economic policies 23.4% (23.1)
Cannot support the administration’s foreign policy 11.0% (10.4)
The coalition between the Liberal Democratic Party and the New Komeito Party 10.6% (11.4)
The current cabinet is worse than the previous ones 8.2% (8.4)
Other; Do not know; No answer 4.2% (4.9)

Figures in parentheses are results from polls conducted in January, 2007.

 

Q2. From the list below, please select all applicable issues you would like the Abe Cabinet to prioritize and address.

Economic conditions/job security 52.0% (53.7)
Financial reconstruction 21.1% (20.7)
Tax reform and the issue of the consumption tax 28.5% (32.0)
Social security reform, including pension and healthcare 61.7% (63.0)
Support for child care and countermeasures for declining birthrates 34.8% (28.9)
Education reform 23.3% (25.3)
Administrative reform such as cutting back the number of government employees 18.5% (20.3)
Problems of income disparities 27.3% (26.2)
Yasukuni Shrine issue 3.6% (6.1)
Diplomacy toward Asia, includingChinaandSouth Korea 13.6% (14.6)
Issues withNorth Korea 32.8% (31.3)
National defense and security 9.7% (11.5)
Constitutional reform 6.2% (7.0)
Disaster prevention and crisis management 7.2% (10.6)
Measurement of crime prevention and securing peace and order 18.1% (21.7)
Environmental protection 17.9% (16.6)
Food safety 14.5% (17.6)
Other; Nothing special; Do not know; No answer 2.4% (2.8)

Figures in parentheses are results from polls conducted in Januar, 2007.

 

Q3. Which political party do you support right now? Please select one:

Liberal Democratic Party 34.2% (39.3)
Democratic Party ofJapan 12.0% (12.5)
New Komeito Party 3.9% (2.5)
JapanCommunist Party 1.4% (2.1)
Social Democratic Party ofJapan 1.0% (1.3)
The People’s New Party 0.3% (0.2)
The New PartyNippon 0.1% (0.1)
Others —(0.1)
Do not support any party 46.8% (41.5)
Do not know; No answer 0.5% (0.6)

Figures in parentheses are results from polls conducted in Januar, 2007.

 

Q4. Regarding your impressions of Prime Minister Abe, please answer the following 3 questions:

S1. Do you think Prime Minister Abe has demonstrated leadership in managing the administration, or not?

Think so 18.1%
Do not think so 57.4%
Can say neither 22.9%
Do not know; No answer 1.6%

 

S2. Do you think Prime Minister Abe has been actively tackling reforms, or not?

Think so 34.3%
Do not think so 38.2%
Can say neither 26.3%
Do not know; No answer 1.2%

 

S3. Do you think that Prime Minister Abe properly handled a series of Cabinet members’ scandals and inappropriate remarks?

Think so 18.7%
Do not think so 55.8%
Can say neither 24.0%
Do not know; No answer 1.4%

 

Q5. The six-party talks were held recently discussing North Korea’s nuclear program. It was agreed that within 60 days North Korea is to shut down a nuclear reactor and to accept international nuclear monitoring in exchange for receiving the equivalent of 50,000 tons of heavy fuel oil. Additionally, the equivalent of 950,000 tons of heavy fuel oil will be provided if North Korea permanently disables all of its nuclear reactors. Do you expect that, under the current agreement, North Korea’s nuclear problem can be resolved?

Can expect it so 4.1%
If anything, can expect it so 14.0%
If anything, cannot expect it so 27.3%
Cannot expect it so 51.5%
Do not know; No answer 3.1%

 

Q6.
S1. The policy of the Japanese government is that it will provide neither economic nor energy assistance to North Korea as long as there is no progress on the issue of Japanese abductees. Do you support this policy, or not?

Support 56.8%
If anything, support 24.0%
If anything, do not support 9.1%
Do not support 7.3%
Do not know; No answer 2.8%

 

S2. At the six-party talks, it was also agreed that a working group, which is to discuss the normalization of DPRK-Japan relations, will be established within 30 days. With the establishment of this working group do you expect that the issue of Japanese abductees will move toward a resolution.

Can expect it so 7.1%
If anything, can expect it so 16.8%
If anything, cannot expect it so 31.6%
Can not expect it so 39.8%
Do not know; No answer 4.7%

 

Q7. Do you support the results of the six-party talks as a whole, or not?

Support 13.5%
If anything, support 32.7%
If anything, do not support 26.7%
Do not support 20.1%
Do not know; No answer 7.0%

 

Q8. A number of gubernatorial, mayoral, and local assembly elections are scheduled nationwide in this April. Are you interested in these local elections, or not?

Very much interested 29.3% (20.4%)
Somewhat interested 39.2% (39.8%)
Not interested very much 23.7% (30.0%)
Not interested at all 7.4% (9.2%)
Do not know; No answer 0.5% (0.5%)

Figures in parentheses are results from polls conducted in February 2003.

 

Q9. Are you planning to vote this time, or not? Please select one from the list below:

Definitely will vote 55.4% (55.0)
Will try to go vote 33.3% (31.8)
Probably will not vote 7.3% (7.4)
Will not vote; will abstain from voting 2.3% (1.8)
No election in the area where I reside 0.2% (2.5)
Do not know; No answer 1.5% (1.4)

Figures in parentheses are results from polls conducted in February 2003.

 

Q10. Which agendas would you like candidates to discuss during the election campaign? Please select as many as you like from the list below.

Financial reconstruction in the local governments 35.5%
Downsizing the local administration 18.3%
Cutting back the number of local government employees 25.1%
Promotion of decentralization 7.5%
Promotion of information disclosure 11.6%
Reform of the local assembly 10.5%
Reforms on the bidding system for public works 18.2%
Cessation of the collusive relations among politics, government, and private sector 18.6%
Revitalization of the local economy such as employment and economic conditions 41.7%
Facilitation of business sectors such as agriculture, forestry, fisheries 7.8%
Improvement of transportation networks 7.8%
Social welfare, medical care, and countermeasures for an aging society 53.6%
Countermeasures for declining birthrates and support for child care 34.5%
Education and appropriate guidance for youth 26.7%
Preventing crimes and securing peace and order 21.3%
Preparation for earthquakes and disasters 12.8%
Measurements for trash disposal and environmental protection 18.4%
Other; nothing special; Do not know; No answer 5.1%

 

Q11. What characteristics in a candidate are most important to you when you decide who to vote for in the gubernatorial, mayoral, and municipal elections? Please select as many as you like from the list below.

Personality of the candidate 50.1%
Career and achievements of the candidate 22.9%
Policies and pledges by the candidate 51.9%
Whether or not the candidate has great possibilities in politics 19.0%
The candidate’s affiliated political party and supporting political party 14.3%
Policies and pledges by the candidate’s affiliated political party and supporting political party 16.8%
Request by an acquaintance or the job-related matters in the region 9.7%
Other 0.4%
Nothing special 6.7%
Do not know; No answer 0.8%

 

Q12. Do you think it better for a candidate to have an endorsement or support from a political party at the time of election, or do you think it is better for a candidate to not have any endorsement or support from a political party?

it is better if the candidate has an endorsement or support from a political party 38.7% (35.1)
it is better if the candidate does not have any endorsement or support from a political party 41.3% (48.4%)
Do not know; No answer 20.0% (16.4)

Figures in parentheses are results from polls conducted in February, 2003.

 

Q13. Do you think it is good for the ruling party and the opposition party to confront one another by supporting candidates in their own political party at the gubernatorial or mayoral election level, or you do not think so?

Do think it is good 44.2%
Do no think so 42.7%
Do not know; No answer 13.2%

 

Q14. There are the following opinions with regard to “winning the election without a vote.”
A) It would be inevitable if the personality and the achievements of the candidate are superior.
B) Regardless of personality or achievements, it would not be desirable for a local administration to approve a candidate’s victory without an opposition candidate and without a vote. Which opinion is closer to your own?

If anything, it is closer to A 43.3% (44.9)
If anything, it is closer to B 51.4% (48.8)
Do not know: No answer 5.3% (6.3)

 

Q15. Since the last nationwide local elections took place in 2003, many of Japan’s municipalities have merged and incorporated. Currently, the number of municipalities has decreased from 3,200 to about 1,800.  What are your impressions about local administration compared to the time before these municipal mergers and incorporations.

S1. Do you think that the amount of waste in municipal administration nationwide has decreased, or you do not think so?

Think so 12.9%
If anything, think so 22.8%
If anything, do not think so 23.8%
Do not think so 28.0%
Do not know; No answer 12.4%

 

S2. Do you think that services for the local citizens have been better, or you do not think so?

Think so 5.2%
If anything, think so 17.3%
If anything, do no think so 30.4%
Do not think so 33.3%
Do not know; No answer 13.8%

 

S3. Do you think that the promotion of municipal mergers and incorporations has been a good thing, or you do not think so?

Think so 16.8%
If anything, think so 27.3%
If anything, do not think so 22.0%
Do not think so 21.2%
Do not know; No answer 12.8%

 

Q16. Were there any municipal mergers or incorporations in the municipality where you currently live during the past 4 years?

Yes 39.6%
No 58.8%
Do not know; No answer 1.6%

 

Q17. Do you think that the prefectural and municipal assemblies have been fulfilling their role in checking local administrations, or you do not think so?

It is greatly playing a role of checking 3.3% (1.7)
It is somewhat playing a role of checking 27.3% (23.2)
It is not playing a role of checking very much 39.9% (49.8)
It is not playing a role of checking at all 16.7% (14.5)
Do not know; No answer 12.8% (10.9)

Figures in parentheses are results from polls conducted in July, 1997.

 

Q18. Do you think that, as a whole, the number of prefectural and municipal assemblies is too many, too small, or just right?

Too many 65.4%
Just right 23.6%
Too small 1.2%
Do not know; No answer 9.8%

 

Fundamental Characteristics of Survey Sample

Regional Distribution

Hokkaido, Tohoku 11.8%
Kanto 29.6%
Chubu 19.3%
Kinki 17.9%
Chugoku,Shikoku 9.7%
Kyushu 11.7%

 

City Scale

Large Metropolitan areas (Tokyo’s 23 wards and ordinance designated cities) 21.7%
Large mid-sized cities (cities with population over 300,000) 19.4%
Mid-sized cities (cities with population over 100,000) 24.4%
Small cities (cities with population under 100,000) 22.9%
Towns and villages 11.6%

The scale is based on the standards set up as of November 1, 2006

 

Gender Distribution

Male 47.3%
Female 52.7%

 

Age Distribution (in years)

20-24 5.1%
25-29 5.3%
30-34 7.6%
35-39 7.6%
40-44 7.7%
45-49 8.7%
50-54 9.5%
55-59 11.7%
60-69 20.2%
Over 70 years old 16.4%

 

Educational Background

Middle School 14.4%
High School 48.9%
College/Junior College 35.7%
No answer 1.0%

 

Occupational Background

Agriculture/Forestry/Fishing 2.4%
Business/Industry/Service 8.3%
Self-employed 1.1%
Management/Professional 5.2%
Office worker/Skill industry 18.0%
Labor/Service 21.9%
Housewife 22.5%
Domestic woman other than a housewife 5.1%
Student 2.5%
Other/unemployed/No answer 13.0%

 

Household Annual Income (in Japanese yen)

Below 2 million 11.2%
In between 2 and 4 million 20.4%
In between 4 and 6 million 21.4%
In between 6 and 8 million 15.9%
In between 8 and 10 million 5.7%
Over 10 million 6.0%
No answer 19.6%

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