Yomiuri Shimbun May 2007 Opinion Polls (07-24)

Yomiuri Shimbun May 2007 Opinion Poll

Dates Conducted

May 19 and 20, 2007

Methodology

Yomiuri conducted the poll in individual interviews on May 19 and 20, using a stratified two-stage random sample of 3,000 voters in 250 different locations. 1,803 people, or 60.1% of those selected, responded.

Key Issues

  • Support for Prime Minister Abe, his policies and his leadership
  • Constitution reform
  • Baseball scholarships
  • Climate change and environmental challenges
  • Participation in “green” purchasing and other conservation practices
  • Employment and work issues

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 49.6% (43.8)
Do not support 36.8% (43.9)
Other 3.5% (4.4)
Do not know; No answer 10.1% (7.9)

Figures in parentheses are results from polls conducted in March 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 33.4% (27.4)
Feel that it is stable 14.9% (9.2)
Can trust the Prime Minister 23.2% (27.6)
Have a fresh image of the Prime Minister 40.2% (43.4)
Can support its economic policies 6.2% (4.3)
Can support its foreign policy 15.2% (15.1)
The coalition between the Liberal Democratic Party and theKomeitoParty 10.7% (10.2)
It is better than previous cabinets 10.1% (10.4)
Other; Do not know; No answer 4.8% (3.9)

Figures in parentheses are results from polls conducted in March 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 43.1% (44.4)
Do not feel that the cabinet is stable 24.9% (32.0)
Cannot trust the Prime Minister 25.2% (27.3)
The Prime Minister’s political experience is lacking 16.7% (16.6)
Cannot support the administration’s economic policies 21.9% (19.3)
Cannot support the administration’s foreign policy 13.9% (10.7)
The coalition between the Liberal Democratic Party and theKomeitoParty 14.2% (8.6)
The current cabinet is worse than the previous ones 7.5% (10.7)
Other; Do not know; No answer 3.8% (3.9)

Figures in parentheses are results from polls conducted in March 2007

 

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

Economic conditions/job security 51.1% (50.0)
Fiscal reconstruction 19.2% (20.7)
Tax reform and the issue of the consumption tax 27.4% (30.0)
Social security reform, including pensions and healthcare 59.5% (61.0)
Support for child care and countermeasures for declining birthrates 29.0% (30.6)
Education reform 24.8% (24.1)
Administrative reform, such as cutting back the number of government employees 17.6% (17.8)
Problems of income disparities 27.2% (26.9)
YasukuniShrine issue 8.4% (6.0)
Foreign policy toward Asia, including China and South Korea 15.0% (17.6)
Issues with North Korea 29.4% (33.3)
National defense and security 13.9% (12.7)
Constitution reform 11.5% (7.2)
Disaster prevention and crisis management 11.0% (9.0)
Public safety and crime prevention 26.6% (18.4)
Environmental protection 21.9% (18.4)
Food safety 15.0% (13.2)
Other; Nothing special; Do not know; No answer 2.8% (2.8)

Figures in parentheses are results from polls conducted in March 2007

 

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

Liberal Democratic Party 38.5% (36.4)
Democratic Party of Japan 11.1% (11.3)
NewKomeitoParty 3.3% (2.1)
Japan Communist Party 1.8% (1.8)
Social Democratic Party of Japan 0.9% (0.7)
The New People’s Party 0.3% (0.1)
The New Party Nippon 0.1% (0.1)
Others —– (—–)
Do not support any party 42.4% (46.0)
Do not know; No answer 1.6% (1.5)

Figures in parentheses are results from polls conducted in March 2007

 

Q4. Elections will be held for the House of Councilors this summer. Which party’s candidate will you support in the proportional-representation block for this election? Please select one from the list:

Liberal Democratic Party 33.9 (32.2)
Democratic Party of Japan 14.1 (14.5)
NewKomeitoParty 3.3 (2.5)
Japan Communist Party 1.7 (2.4)
Social Democratic Party of Japan 0.9 (1.1)
The New People’s Party 0.4 (0.2)
The New Party Nippon 0.1 (0.2)
Others —–(—–)
Have not decided 44.3 (45.6)
Do not know; No answer 1.2 (1.3)

  Figures in parentheses are results from polls conducted in March 2007

Q5. Regarding your impressions of Prime Minister Abe, please select the conclusion that is closest to your impression for the following two qualities:

S1. Ability to follow through

Has followed through as promised with results 30.1% (19.5)
Not as impressive as he looked, and has shown few results 59.1% (71.9)
Do not know; No answer 10.8% (8.7)

 

S2. Leadership

Is providing leadership 26.3% (16.1)
Is not providing leadership 64.8% (77.5)
Do not know; No answer 8.8% (6.3)

Figures in parentheses are results from polls conducted in March 2007

 

Q6. The National Referendum Act, which stipulates specific procedures for constitutional reform, has been passed by the Diet. Do you evaluate this positively, or not?

Very positive 20.1%
Somewhat positive 36.6%
Not very positive 22.3%
Not positive at all 11.5%
Do not know; No answer 9.5%

Q7. The National Referendum Act will come into force three years from now, so a vote by the public on constitutional reform would occur in 2010 or later. Do you think that the political parties should discuss the Constitution more actively, or not?

Yes 56.2%
Somewhat 22.8%
Not really 8.0%
Not at all 6.4%
Do not know; No answer 6.6%

Q8. According to the National Referendum Act, anyone over the age of 18 can vote on constitutional reform. However, absent a change in the rule, the voting age for regular elections is 20. Do you think that the voting age should be 18, or do you think that it should be 20?

18 30.4%
20 52.7%
Cannot say 14.6%
Do not know; No answer 2.2%

 

Q9. It has been revealed that more than 400 high schools across the country have established a “scholarship system,” under which tuition fees are waived for members of the baseball team. Many high-school sports, including soccer and track and field, allow scholarships, but the provisions of the Japan Student Baseball Charter ban scholarships for baseball. Do you think that the Japan Student Baseball Charter should be reformed to allow for scholarships, or not?

Yes 60.1%
Somewhat in favor 19.8%
Somewhat against 5.7%
No 9.5%
Do not know; No answer 4.9%

Q10. Overall, do you positively evaluate the steps taken by the Japan High School Baseball Federation to address the scholarship issue in high school baseball, or not?

Very positively 7.5%
Somewhat positively 18.2%
Not very positively 33.4%
Not at all positively 31.6%
Do not know; No answer 9.3%

Q11. In a practice known as “baseball study abroad,” high school baseball players are granted admission to schools with highly competitive teams, even if the school is outside their prefecture of residence. As a result, on some teams, more than 50 percent of the players come from outside of the prefecture. Do you think that certain limits on “baseball study abroad” are necessary, or do you think that things are fine as they stand now?

Limits are necessary 46.3%
Things are fine as they stand now 34.8%
Cannot say 16.3%
Do not know; No answer 2.6%

 

The Environment

Q12. From the following list, which changes in the environment, if any, do you especially worry about on a daily basis?

Global warming caused by increasing carbon dioxide from the consumption of oil and coal 70.9% (62.4)
Destruction of the ozone layer caused by chlorofluorocarbon gas in the atmosphere 47.4% (46.0)
Pollution of rivers, lakes, wetlands and the ocean caused by wastewater from households, factories and oil tankers 40.5% (40.8)
Radioactive pollution from accidents and incidents at nuclear power plants 36.8% (39.1)
Desiccation of forests and acidification of lakes due to acid rain 34.0% (32.0)
Fewer natural resources due to excessive logging in tropical forests 39.0% (31.8)
Fewer wild animals due to destruction of the natural environment 33.9% (29.4)
Pollution of the environment by dioxin and other chemical substances 43.0% (48.7)
Other 0.6% (0.5)
Nothing special; Do not know; No answer 4.7% (5.8)

Figures in parentheses are results from polls conducted in October 2004

Q13. It is said that as global warming progresses, the environment will be impacted in many ways. From the following list, which item, if any, concerns you in particular? Please select as many as you like:

Worsening life environment due to more frequent heat waves, floods and cold snaps 71.8% (72.5)
More areas prone to flooding by rising sea levels 51.2% (43.1)
Changes in the ocean’s ecosystem adversely impacting fishing 41.2% (33.7)
Lower agricultural yields due to more frequent localized torrential rains and droughts 52.2% (49.8)
Changes in arable land due to spreading desertification 38.5% (29.5)
Fewer wild animals and plants due to their inability to adapt to climate change 35.2% (30.1)
Other 0.3% (0.2)
Nothing in particular 3.1% (5.3)
Do not know; No answer 1.2% (0.5)

Figures in parentheses are results from polls conducted in October 2004

 

Q14. Do you think that the Abe Cabinet has been proactive in developing measures to address global warming, or not?

Yes 7.8%
Somewhat 19.7%
Not really 31.3%
No 33.7%
Do not know; No answer 7.4%

Q15. In 1997, the nations of the world gathered in Kyoto in an effort to prevent global warming, and signed the Kyoto Protocol, which set targets for reducing emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide. However, the United States, the world’s largest emitter of carbon dioxide, is not a party to the Kyoto Protocol, and the world’s second-largest emitter of carbon dioxide, China, is not required to reduce its emissions. Do you think that Japan should be more forceful in its diplomatic efforts to persuade these countries to reduce their emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases, or not?

Yes 75.3%
Somewhat 16.7%
Not really 3.0%
No 1.7%
Do not know; No answer 3.3%

Q16. Do you think that if each individual were concerned about global warming and acted accordingly, we might be effective in preventing the problem, or not?

Very effective 58.0%
Somewhat effective 30.9%
Not very effective 8.5%
Not effective at all 1.5%
Do not know; No answer 1.1%

Q17. In your daily life, what do you do, or what do you pay special attention to, if anything, to help prevent global warming? Please select as many as you like from the following list:

Conserving energy by being careful to turn off lights, air conditioning and heating, and by pulling plugs out of wall sockets [when not in use] 67.7%
Being careful not to leave tap water running 69.9%
Using a car less often, and turning off the motor rather than letting it idle 30.6%
Using energy-conserving household appliances 31.1%
Learning about the environment, global warming and other issues 12.1%
Participating in environmental protection activities, such as “adopting” carbon dioxide-absorbing forests 3.7%
Other 1.2%
Nothing in particular 9.4%
Do not know; No answer 0.3%

 

Q18. Are you in favor, or opposed, to a so-called “environmental tax,” which would reduce carbon dioxide and preserve green areas by establishing a new national or local tax, and allocating the tax revenue toward environmental countermeasures, such as preventing warming and planting forests?

In favor 41.8% (44.6)
Opposed 29.7% (28.2)
Cannot answer 26.8% (26.0)
Do not know; No answer 1.8% (1.2)

Q19. There is a trend toward using bioethanol, a fuel produced from sugar cane, corn and other plants that reportedly does not increase levels of carbon dioxide, which is a cause of global warming. Do you want to use bioethanol to fuel your car, or not?

Yes 38.8%
Somewhat 27.8%
Not really 10.4%
No 11.2%
Do not know; No answer 11.9%

 

Q20. Some products are marketed as being environmentally friendly, because they use less energy. To what extent do you consider this when you shop? Please select one from the following list:

I choose environmentally-friendly products, even if they are somewhat more expensive 16.6% (18.4)
I choose environmentally-friendly products if the price is similar [to other products] 65.7% (61.9)
I don’t really consider whether products are environmentally friendly 15.0% (17.9)
Other 0.1% (0.2)
Do not know; No answer 2.6% (1.7)

Figures in parentheses are results from polls conducted in October 2004

 

Q21. When you shop in supermarkets and convenience stores, do you decline the shopping bags provided at the register and bring your own with you, or not?

Always 23.1%
Sometimes 26.1%
No 49.6%
Do not know; No answer 1.2%

 

SQ [Those who answered “sometimes” or “no” to Q21 only]

Do you intend to bring your own shopping bag to the store more frequently, or not?

Yes 42.9%
Maybe 28.4%
Probably not 10.3%
No 16.6%
Do not know; No answer 1.8%

 

Q22. Recently, a new trend called “eco-buying” has appeared. Eco-buying consumers purchase the food products that are closest to the expiration date, in order to reduce the amount of leftover food products that the store throws out. Do you shop this way, would you like to try doing so, or do you not want to try it?

I do [shop this way] 23.2%
I would like to try it 36.1%
I do not want to try it 36.3%
Do not know; no answer 4.4%

 

Labor administration and views on work

Q23. From each of the following pairs of statements, please select the one that is closest to your view on work. If you do not work, please imagine that you do, and select accordingly.

It is best to continue to work at one company 59.0%
I would not mind taking a different job 38.3%

 

I would like to work in a position that entails responsibility 76.9%
I would like to work in a position that entails no responsibility 19.2%

 

Promotions should be based on age and seniority 30.4%
Promotions should be based on ability and achievements unrelated to age and seniority 65.4%

 

Do not know; No answer 1.9%

 

Q24. If you were to choose a job and a profession now, what conditions would you consider to  be important? Please select all that apply, if any, from the following list:

A stable job with no fear of unemployment 59.6% (50.7)
A high-income job 37.4% (27.9)
A job that allows for plentiful free time away from the workplace 42.0% (30.0)
A job that contributes to society 23.6% (18.0)
A job that is considered prestigious 13.8% (9.0)
A job that allows me to use my talents and abilities 51.1% (42.1)
A job that is interesting and worth doing 57.9% (53.4)
A job that is safe and does not damage my health 34.4% (25.9)
Other 0.3% (0.2)
Nothing in particular; Do not know; No answer 2.3% (2.6)

Figures in parentheses are results from polls conducted in July 2005

Q25. Do you feel anxious about your current or future work situation, and that of your family, or not?

Very anxious 27.6% (24.6)
Somewhat anxious 44.0% (46.9)
Not very anxious 18.0% (21.9)
Not at all anxious 8.9% (5.5)
Do not know, No answer 1.4% (1.1)

 

Q26. Do you think it is good that employment categories besides full-time employees—such as temporary workers, contractors and part-time and casual workers—are becoming increasingly diverse, or not?

Good 23.0%
Somewhat good 20.5%
Not very good 26.5%
Not good 23.6%
Do not know; No answer 6.5%

 

Q27. There is a widening wage gap between full-time employees on the one hand, and part-time, contract and casual workers on the other. Do you think that this gap will continue to widen, or not?

Yes 46.9%
Probably 27.0%
Probably not 10.9%
No 8.7%
Do not know; No answer 6.5%

 

Q28. When contract, part-time and casual workers do the same work as a full-time employee, do you think that they should receive the same level of pay, or not?

Yes 50.3%
Probably 23.3%
Probably not 11.3%
No 11.5%
Don’t know, no answer 3.5%

 

Q29. The Abe Cabinet has developed a so-called “second-chance support policy” in order to help people who work on a part-time or casual basis to find a stable occupation, and to narrow the wage gap between full-time employees and part-time or other employees. Do you think that this “second-chance support policy” is promising, or not?

Very promising 7.8%
Somewhat promising 31.3%
Not very promising 39.0%
Not at all promising 15.6%
Do not know; No answer 6.2%

 

Q30. What is your general impression of “full-time corporate employees”? Choose all that apply from the following list:

Wages are stable 71.0%
Considered trustworthy by society 44.0%
Benefits are plentiful 49.6%
Promotions are possible with seniority 21.9%
Pressed to achieve work assignments 25.1%
Self-sacrifice for the sake of family and company 30.2%
Competition to succeed is fierce 18.5%
Long overtime hours 33.9%
Other 0.2%
Nothing in particular; Do not know; No answer 3.8%

 

Q31. Thirty percent of recent college graduates resign within three years of being hired by a company. This tendency of young people to quit after a short period of employment has become an issue. What factors do you think are behind this trend? From the following list, please select all that apply, if any:

Many people lack perseverance 63.2%
Many people have a positive view on switching jobs 28.5%
Few people think of their work as a way to better themselves 27.0%
Seniority-based corporate compensation systems remain in place 14.5%
Many people are not very socially adaptable 51.4%
There are not many jobs that allow young people to use their capabilities 18.8%
With the spread of information technology, corporations expect highly capable young people 14.3%
Other 2.6%
Nothing in particular 2.6%
Do not know; No answer 2.1%

 

Q32. Suppose your supervisor at work told you to do the following things. What do you think you would do? If you do not work in a company, please imagine that you do.

S1. It is past quitting time and you have something to attend to outside of work, but your supervisor asks you to work overtime. Would you agree to put in extra hours, or would you refuse to do so?

Work overtime 67.2%
Refuse 26.3%
Do not know; No answer 6.5%

 

S2. You have just purchased a house when your supervisor privately asks you whether you would be willing to relocate for work. Would you agree to relocate, or would you refuse?

Agree 39.8%
Refuse 50.1%
Do not know; No answer 10.1%

 

Q33. From the following list, which category describes the work you do now? Please select one:

Self-employed (agriculture/forestry/fishing, business/industry/service) 12.8% (14.7)
National or local civil servant 4.4% (3.8)
Full-time employee of a company or business 25.2% (27.2)
Temporary or provisional employee, temporary worker, casual worker, etc. 6.2% (4.9)
Housewife (including part-time) 30.2% (29.4)
Student 2.2% (2.1)
Unemployed (looking for work) 1.2% (1.3)
Unemployed (retired, not working) 17.2% (16.3)
Other —–(—–)
Do not know; No answer 0.6% (0.3)

Figures in parentheses are results from polls conducted in March 2007

 

SQ (52) [Those who answered self-employed; national or local civil servant; full-time employee of a company or business or temporary or provisional employee; or temporary worker, causal worker, etc. above]

Which describe(s) your anxiety or troubles, if any, at your current job? Please select as many as you like from the following list:

Low income with no raises 41.5%
Difficult interpersonal relations 5.9%
Long work hours and not enough time off 26.7%
Too much work 24.7%
My work is not fully appreciated 11.5%
Anxiety about the future and stability of my company or industry 28.9%
Uncertainty over how long I will be allowed to continue working 12.2%
Other 0.8%
Nothing in particular; Do not know; No answer 21.6%

 

Fundamental Characteristics of Survey Sample

Regional Distribution

Hokkaido, Tohoku 11.3%
Kanto 28.7%
Chubu 19.3%
Kinki 19.3%
Chugoku, Shikoku 10.1%
Kyushu 11.3%

 

City Scale

Large metropolitan areas (Tokyo’s 23 wards and ordinance-designated cities) 22.5%
Large mid-sized cities (cities with population over 300,000) 19.0%
Mid-sized cities (cities with population over 100,000) 24.3%
Small cities (cities with population under 100,000) 22.9%
Towns and villages 11.4%

The scale is based on the standards set up as of March 12, 2007

 

Gender Distribution

Male 45.7%
Female 54.3%

 

Age Distribution (in years)

20-24 5.3%
25-29 5.3%
30-34 6.5%
35-39 7.5%
40-44 7.7%
45-49 8.4%
50-54 7.7%
55-59 13.6%
60-69 21.6%
Over 70 years old 16.4%

 

Educational Background

Middle School 14.9%
High School 47.9%
College/Junior College 36.4%
Do not know; No answer 0.8%

 

Occupational Background

Agriculture/Forestry/Fishing 2.7%
Business/Industry/Service 8.6%
Self-employed 1.4%
Management/Professional 5.7%
Office worker/Skill industry 17.0%
Labor/Service 20.7%
Housewife 22.6%
Domestic woman other than a housewife 5.3%
Student 2.2%
Other; Unemployed; No answer 13.7%

 

Household Annual Income (in Japanese yen)

Below 2 million 11.4%
Between 2 and 4 million 21.8%
Between 4 and 6 million 21.2%
Between 6 and 8 million 14.3%
Between 8 and 10 million 7.4%
Over 10 million 5.9%
Do not know; No answer 18.0%

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