Nikkei Shimbun February 2008 Opinion Poll (08-02)

Nikkei Shimbun February 2008 Opinion Poll

Dates Conducted

February 15 – 17, 2008

Methodology

Nationwide poll. See below for age and gender breakdown.

Key Issues

  • Support for the Fukuda Cabinet
  • Fukuda administration’s economic/fiscal policy
  • Extension of the provisional gas tax
  • Passage of the 2008 budget

Background

A new session of the Diet opened on January 18, 2008, a week after the ruling coalition forced a MSDF refueling activities bill through the Lower House in an extraordinary session two times extended.

The opposition Democratic Party of Japan has dubbed the current ordinary session the “Gasoline Diet” in reference to the expiration in March of the provisional extra gas tax, instituted in 1974. The ruling party submitted a bill to extend the temporary higher rates for gasoline and other road-related taxes in January, which would sustain the provisional rate hike for another 10 years. The gas and road taxes are an important revenue source for the government, particularly for road projects in rural areas; yet there is increasing concern that consumers will be negatively impacted by the jump in fuel and gasoline prices.

After a food poisoning scare in January where frozen gyoza (dumplings) imported from China were found to be tainted with a potentially lethal pesticide, the Japanese government has been pressured to bring the facts to light, amid already strained ties with China.

Disclaimer

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

 

Survey

All numbers are percentages.

Q1. Do you support or not support the Fukuda cabinet? (N=919)

Support 40
Do not support 48
No answer/do not know 12

 

Q1SQ1. For those who answered “support”: What are the reasons for your support? Please choose as many as apply from the following seven answers. (N=363)

Because it is an LDP cabinet 30
Good policies 5
Good sense of international affairs 8
Leadership 5
Stability 25
Trustworthy character of members 43
Politically clean 13
Others 6
No answer/do not know 4

 

Q1SQ2. For those who answered “do not support,” what are the reasons for not supporting? Please choose as many as apply from the following seven answers. (N=444)

Because it is an LDP cabinet 24
Bad policies 31
Bad sense of international affairs 13
Lack of leadership 57
Instability 25
Members not trustworthy 16
Politically not clean 3
Others 5
No answer/do not know 2

 

Q2. Which political party do you currently support? Please choose only one. (N=919)

Liberal Democratic Party 33
Democratic Party ofJapan 22
Komeito 3
JapanCommunist Party 2
Social Democratic Party 1
The People’s New Party 0
The New Party ofJapan 0
Other political party 0
Do not support any party 35
No answer/do not know 4

 

Q2SQ. For those who answered “do not support any party” or “no answer/do not know,” if you are to name one, which political party do you favor? (N=358)

Liberal Democratic Party 15
Democratic Party ofJapan 24
Komeito 2
JapanCommunist Party 3
Social Democratic Party 2
The People’s New Party 0
The New Party ofJapan 0
Other political party 0
Do not favor any party 41
No answer/do not know 13

[Support + Preferable Parties (N=919)]

Liberal Democratic Party 39
Democratic Party ofJapan 31
Komeito 4
JapanCommunist Party 3
Social Democratic Party 1
The People’s New Party 1
The New Party ofJapan 0
Other political party 0
Do not support or favor any party 16
No answer/do not know 5

 

Q3. Do you approve or not of the performance of the Fukuda cabinet? (N=919)

Approve 31
Do not approve 54
Cannot say either 6
No answer/do not know 9

 

Q3SQ1. For those who answered “approve,” what is the biggest reason for your approval? Please choose one from the following answers. (N=283)

Stance on local revitalization 6
Efforts for fiscal reform 8
Efforts for economic revitalization 10
Efforts for pension issues 23
Efforts to ensure food safety 6
Handling of issues related to revenues earmarked for road construction 10
Handling of antiterrorism measures issue 4
Handling of North Korean issue 3
Handling of “politics and money” issues 12
Others 4
No answer/do not know 15

 

Q3SQ2. For those who answered “do not approve,” what is the biggest reason for your lack of approval? Please choose one from the following answers. (N=495)

Stance on local revitalization 5
Efforts for fiscal reform 11
Efforts for economic revitalization 20
Efforts for pension issues 14
Efforts to secure food safety 4
Handling of issues related to revenues earmarked for road construction 20
Handling of antiterrorism measures issue 1
Handling of North Korean issue 3
Handling of “politics and money” issues 16
Others 2
No answer/do not know 4

 

Q4. Which of the following economic policies do you think the Fukuda administration should place highest priority on addressing? (N=919)

Social security system reform 24
Finance reform, including raising of the consumption tax 23
Easing of regulations 8
Local revitalization policies 31
Others 1
No answer/do not know 13

 

Q5. Pesticide was found in frozen gyoza (dumplings) imported from China . Was the government’s response adequate? (N=919)

Adequate 20
Inadequate 67
Others 1
No answer/do not know 12

 

Q6. The provisional extra gas tax (levied in addition to the normal gas tax) will expire in March. What do you think should be done with it? (N=919)

Keep the extra rate and carry out road maintenance 9
Keep the extra rate and use revenues for things other than road maintenance 26
Scrap the extra rate and lower the price of gasoline 50
Others 2
No answer/do not know 13

 

Q7. In the event that the Upper House votes down next year’s budget proposal, the ruling party is prepared to hold a second vote in the Lower House to pass the bill. What is your opinion on this? (N=919)

Approve 35
Do not approve 46
No answer/do not know 19

 

Q8. In the future, should the Democratic Party of Japan take an adversarial stance or a cooperative stance toward the government/ruling party? (N=919)

DPJ should take an adversarial stance 39
DPJ should take a cooperative stance 42
No answer/do not know 19

 

Q9. In the future, what kind of administration is desirable to you? (N=919)

An LDP single-party government 6
A coalition government based on the LDP and the Komeito 13
A DPJ-based government (non-LDP) 25
A coalition government that includes LDP and DPJ 39
Others 2
No answer/do not know 14

 

Q10. When do you think the dissolution of the House of Representatives and the general elections should be carried out? (N=919)

The House of Representatives should be dissolved as soon as possible 15
The House of Representatives should be dissolved after the budget is approved in spring this year 19
The House of Representatives should be dissolved after the Hokkaido G8 Toyoko Summit in July 20
It is not necessary to dissolve it in a hurry 32
Others 0
No answer/do not know 13

 

Polling Information

F1. Gender (Determined by the polltaker) (N=919)

Male 46
Female 54
Unknown 0

 

F2. How old are you? (N=919)

In my 20s 6
In my 30s 16
In my 40s 16
In my 50s 19
In my 60s 19
70 years old or older 22
Refused to answer 1

Average age: 54.5

 

F3. What is your occupation? (N=919)

Agriculture, forestry and fisheries 4
Employee (company or government employee, teacher, etc.) 41
Self-owned business, self-employed (including a homemaker) 13
Full-time housewife(without job only) 19
Student 1
Unemployed 22
Refused to answer 1

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