Yomiuri Shimbun January 2008 Opinion Polls (08-04)

Yomiuri Shimbun January 2008 Opinion Poll

Date Conducted

January 12 and 13, 2008

Methodology

Yomiuri conducted the poll in individual interviews on January 12 and 13, 2008, using a stratified two-stage random sample of 3,000 voters in 250 different locations. 1,780 people, or 59.3% of those selected, responded.

Key Issues

  • Evaluation of the Fukuda Administration/Cabinet
  • Passage of the new Maritime Self Defense Forces refueling activities law
  • Pride in Japan and as a Japanese citizen
  • Food safety issues and food mislabeling

Disclaimer

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

 

Survey

Q1. Do you support or not support the Fukuda cabinet?

Support 45.6% (52.5)
Do not support 41.6% (35.3)
Other 3.5% (3.3)
Do not know; No answer 9.3% (9.0)

Figures in parentheses are results from polls conducted in December 2007

 

SQ1. [For those who answered “Support” to Q1]

Please select up to two reasons from the following for why you support the Fukuda Cabinet.

Positively evaluate its political stance 25.2% (25.7)
Feel that it is stable 35.4% (40.2)
Can trust the Prime Minister 24.2% (27.8)
Positively evaluate its economic policies 6.7% (5.7)
Positively evaluate its foreign policy 9.4% (8.1)
It is a coalition between the Liberal Democratic Party and the Komeito Party 8.6% (7.7)
Fukuda is an LDP Prime Minister 24.5% (18.8)
It is better than previous cabinets 13.6% (18.7)
Other; Do not know; No answer 6.8% (3.3)

Figures in parentheses are results from polls conducted in December 2007

 

SQ2. [Those who answered “Do not support” to Q1 only]

Please select up to two reasons from the following for why you do not support the Fukuda Cabinet:

Cannot positively evaluate its political stance 41.6% (38.4)
Do not feel that the cabinet is stable 27.0% (24.5)
Cannot trust the Prime Minister 25.6% (22.7)
Cannot support the administration’s economic policies 35.6% (34.6)
Cannot support the administration’s foreign policy 9.6% (11.7)
It is a coalition between the Liberal Democratic Party and the Komeito Party 12.1% (17.0)
Fukuda is an LDP Prime Minister 7.2%(8.8)
It is worse than previous cabinets 5.5% ( 5.6)
Other; Do not know; No answer 3.4% ( 4.3)

Figures in parentheses are results from polls conducted in December 2007

 

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

Economic conditions/job security 55.4% (53.0)
Fiscal reconstruction 22.3% (20.6)
Tax reform and the issue of the consumption tax 30.7% (32.1)
Social security reform, including pensions and healthcare 62.5% (61.2)
Support for child care and countermeasures for declining birthrates 27.4% (27.1)
Education reform 18.5% (18.1)
Problems of income disparities 28.3% (25.1)
Administrative reform, such as cutting back the number of government employees 16.3% (17.4)
Politics and money issues 31.5% (35.1)
Foreign policy toward Asia, including China and South Korea 12.3% (11.2)
Issues with North Korea 19.7% (22.3)
National defense and security 10.2% (10.9)
Constitutional revision 5.3% (5.2)
Disaster prevention and crisis management 7.7% (8.2)
Public safety and crime prevention 19.4% (18.6)
Environmental protection 21.6% (20.9)
Food safety 24.8% (27.3)
Other; Nothing special; Do not know; No answer 2.8% ( 2.5)

Figures in parentheses are results from polls conducted in December 2007

 

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

Liberal Democratic Party 35.5% (35.3)
Democratic Party of Japan 16.9% (17.1)
Komeito Party 2.2% ( 2.5)
Japan Communist Party 2.3% ( 2.1)
Social Democratic Party of Japan 1.0% ( 0.8)
The New People’s Party 0.2%( 0.3)
The New Party Nippon —% ( 0.1)
Other —%( 0.2)
Do not support any party 40.7% (40.8)
Do not know; No answer 1.3% (0.7)

Figures in parentheses are results from polls conducted in December 2007

 

Q4. Do you approve of the passage of the new Anti-Terrorism Special Measures Law, which restarts the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force vessels’ refueling activities in support of the multinational army fighting the war on terror in Afghanistan?

Highly approve 16.1%
Somewhat approve 31.3%
Do not really approve 26.1%
Do not approve at all 17.8%
Do not know; No answer 8.8%

 

Q5. Do you think that the passage of the new Anti-Terrorism Special Measures Law via a two-thirds majority vote in the House of Representatives was appropriate or not?

Appropriate 41.4%
Not appropriate 45.7%
Do not know; No answer 12.9%

 

Q6. In the missing pension records issue, the government said it would take measures to review each of the 50 million missing records and see that the pensions were paid. However, the government has now admitted that identifying the holder of each record will be exceedingly difficult. Do you think that this is a breach of an official pledge?

Yes 54.8%
No 40.5%
Do not know; No answer 4.7%

 

Q7. In the Hepatitis C group class-action law suit, Prime Minister Fukuda pledged to provide aid to all those suffering; a bill providing the corresponding aid was passed. Do you approve of Prime Minister Fukuda’s response to this issue or not?

Highly approve 38.0%
Somewhat approve 43.5%
Do not really approve 11.8%
Do not approve at all 4.0%
Do not know; No answer 2.7%

 

Q8. Currently, by law, taxes for road construction and maintenance are tacked on to the price of gasoline. If this law expires at the end of March and the added tax is scrapped, the price of gasoline will fall, but there will be a great shortfall in both the national and regional budgets. Do you think that this law should be renewed and the additional tax should be continued, or do you think it is better to scrap the added tax?

Continue the tax 29.9%
Scrap the tax 61.1%
Do not know; No answer 9.0%

 

Q9. At the end of last year, Prime Minister Fukuda made a visit to China, which included a meeting with President Hu Jintao. Overall, do you approve of Fukuda’s visit or not?

Highly approve 23.4%
Somewhat approve 41.2%
Do not really approve 20.2%
Do not approve at all 7.1%
Do not know; No answer 8.1%

 

Q10. Prime Minister Fukuda contemplated a cabinet reshuffle in the mid-January, but ended up putting it off.  Do you think Fukuda should have reshuffled the cabinet or not?

Should have reshuffled 35.7%
Do not think he should have 49.6%
Do not know; No answer 14.7%

 

Q11. Overall, do you approve of the Democratic Party of Japan’s handling of the current session of Parliament?

Highly approve 5.7%
Somewhat approve 28.2%
Do not really approve 41.5%
Do not approve at all 17.2%
Do not know; No answer 7.3%

 

Q12. Do you think the Democratic Party of Japan has the capacity to govern or not?

Yes 29.2%
No 59.8%
Do not know; No answer 11.0%

 

Q13. When do you think the dissolution of the House of Representatives and the next general election should be held? Please select one of the following.

As soon as possible 19.6%
This spring 9.3%
After the [G8] Summit in July 22.2%
Within the year 18.0%
Anytime before the term ends in Sept. 2009 22.2%
Do not know; No answer 8.7%

 

Q14. If a House of Representatives election were to be held right now, which party would you vote for in the proportional representation section? Please select from one of the following.

Liberal Democratic Party 34.7%
Democratic Party of Japan 22.2%
Komeito Party 2.7%
Japan Communist Party 3.0%
Social Democratic Party of Japan 1.5%
The New People’s Party 0.5%
The New Party Nippon
Other
Undecided 34.4%
Do not know; No answer 0.9%

 

Q15. Are you proud or not of the fact that you are Japanese?

Very proud 54.8%
Somewhat proud 37.9%
Not proud 5.6%
Do not know; No answer 1.7%

 

Q16. As the country of Japan or as a Japanese person, what sort of things do you have pride about? Please select as many as apply from the following.

History, tradition, culture 71.6%
Land, nature 43.4%
Japanese Constitution 16.8%
Emperor system 12.0%
Economic prosperity 18.9%
Level of education, science & technology 19.3%
National character 28.0%
Stability and order in society 28.4%
Other 0.7%
Nothing in particular; Do not know; No answer 4.2%

 

Q17. Compared to the people of other countries, do you think that Japanese people are of high aptitude?

Yes 69.6% (78.6)
No 24.6% (17.0)
Do not know; No answer 5.8% ( 4.4)

Figures in parentheses are results from polls conducted in January 1986

 

Q18. If you were to be born again, would you want to be born Japanese again or not?

Yes 84.7%
No 10.3%
Do not know; No answer 5.0%

 

Q19. What kind of country do you think Japan is now? Please select as many from the following as represent your thoughts.

Military power 2.0%
Economic power 35.9%
Peaceful nation 59.7%
Cultured nation 27.2%
Welfare state 9.6%
Closed country 10.1%
Trusted country 8.4%
Democratic country 25.2%
Autonomous, independent country 4.2%
Do not know; No answer 4.8%

 

Q20. In your daily life, which of the following do you have significant interest in?  Select as many as apply.

World affairs 24.9%
Japanese affairs 39.5%
Local society 44.5%
Work 38.3%
Family/domestic affairs 47.4%
Personal affairs 28.9%
Do not know; No answer 1.3%

 

Q21. As a citizen of Japan, do you strongly desire to be of service to your country or not?

Yes 73.3%
No 20.3%
Do not know; No answer 6.5%

 

Q22. What does “to be of service to your country” mean to you concretely? Please select as many from the following as apply.

Contribute to maintaining peace and safety 44.3%
Contribute to economic development 22.4%
Contribute internationally and raise Japan’s reputation 10.3%
Make achievements in art, culture, sports 12.0%
Work as a lawmaker or government leader 1.5%
Work as a civil servant 4.0%
Work and pay taxes 34.2%
Raise children for tomorrow 48.2%
Participate in volunteer activities like disaster relief 25.6%
Do not know; No answer 7.9%

 

Q23. Do you think your love for your country is strong or weak?

Strong 29.2%
Relatively strong 41.5%
Relatively weak 18.7%
Weak 6.5%
Do not know; No answer 4.2%

 

Q24.What does “love for your country” mean to you concretely?  Please select as many from the following as resemble your interpretation.

Love for the place you live/your hometown 61.5%
Respect for tradition, culture 49.0%
Contribute to protecting peace and safety 31.0%
Contribute to national development, prosperity 20.6%
Have pride as a Japanese person 46.7%
Revere the Emperor and imperial family 11.9%
Support Japan in the Olympics, etc. 18.8%
Other 0.3%
Nothing in particular 3.7%
Do not know; No answer 1.0%

 

Q25. Hypothetically speaking, if Japan were invaded, what would you do? Please select one from the following that most closely represents your thinking.

Take up arms and resist 16.0%
Resist using non-armed methods 38.9%
Escape to a safe place 33.1%
Surrender 6.6%
Do not know; No answer 5.4%

 

Q26. What roles do you particularly expect your country to play? Please select up to three from the following.

Safeguard peace and security 76.6%
Enhance public welfare 51.7%
Promote economic development 35.3%
Create rules for economic activity 6.7%
Protect human rights 22.6%
Maintain order 34.6%
Enhance education 25.4%
Contribute to international society 8.2%
Other 0.2%
Do not know; No answer 1.3%

 

Q27.

SQ1. Which do you think is a more desirable form for the nation to take: (A) “Small government”: Reduce regulations and size of the government; while burden on citizens is lessened, citizen protections and services are kept to a minimum, or (B) “Big government”: Expand regulations and size of the government; while burden on citizen is increased, citizen protections and services are enhanced.

(A) Small government 37.8% (47.1)
(B) Big government 33.3% (28.9)
Neither 26.3% (21.2)
Do not know; No answer 2.6% ( 2.8)

Figures in parentheses are results from polls conducted in December 2000

 

SQ2. Do you think government regulations should be kept to a minimum and the private sector should be allowed to freely compete or not?

Yes 59.4%
No 30.9%
Do not know; No answer 9.7%

 

SQ3. Do you think the government should actively engage in closing the economic gap between citizens?

Yes 84.1%
No 11.9%
Do not know; No answer 4.0%

 

SQ4. Do you think the government should provide generous social security, such as pensions and welfare, and for this purpose it is permissible to increase the (tax) burden on the public?

Yes 44.8%
No 47.1%
Do not know; No answer 8.1%

 

Q28. What kind of country do you want Japan to be in the future? Please select up to three from the following.

A country that pursues economic affluence 38.9%
A country focused on promotion of science and technology 14.3%
A country focused on enhancing welfare 57.3%
A country that exercises political clout in international society 13.3%
A country that tells the world about the importance of peace 41.5%
A country focused on national security 20.0%
A country that is a model of democracy 11.5%
A country focused on promotion of culture 10.4%
A country that places importance on nature and the global environment 45.6%
Do not know; No answer 1.5%

 

Food Safety

Q29. Recently, have you been concerned or not about the safety of food?

Very concerned 48.7% (49.0)
Somewhat concerned 33.8% (34.5)
Not very concerned 13.8% (12.2)
Not concerned 3.4% ( 4.1)
Do not know; No answer 0.3% ( 0.3)

Figures in parentheses are results from polls conducted in September 2007

 

SQ. [For those who answered “Very concerned” or “Somewhat concerned” to Q29]

Please select as many from the following as apply as to why you feel concern.

Concern about pesticide residue 49.7%
Occurrence of BSE and other illnesses 32.2%
Potential use of genetically-modified products 33.0%
Concern about additives, etc. 49.5%
Increase in imported foods 57.2%
Recent spate of food mislabeling incidents 71.4%
Other 0.5%
Do not know; No answer 0.1%

 

Q30. Do you generally trust food labels or not?

Greatly trust 9.3%
Somewhat trust 40.7%
Do not really trust 34.9%
Do not trust at all 14.2%
Do not know; No answer 0.9%

 

Q31. Recently, it has come to light that several food manufacturers have shipped and sold products with falsified expiration dates. What do you think the reason is behind this intentional mislabeling? Please choose as many from the following as apply.

Low morals of management and executives 84.6%
Education of employees not sufficiently thorough 24.8%
Lack of government food oversight and inspection 49.5%
Light penalty for breaking the law 37.3%
Consumers do not pay attention to labels 17.2%
Other 1.0%
Nothing in particular 0.9%
Do not know; No answer 0.8%

 

Q32. In the food mislabeling issue, what do you find to be a particular problem?  Choose as many from the following as apply.

Expiration date, “best by” date, production date 71.8%
Place/country of production 54.4%
Ingredients 37.9%
Presence of additives 46.1%
Presence of allergens 25.3%
Organic or low-pesticide labeling 38.4%
Nutritional information 8.7%
Other 0.1%
Nothing in particular 1.8%
Do not know; No answer 0.4%

 

Q33. Do you think after the discovery of several incidents of food mislabeling will lead to a decrease in such falsifications in the future or not?

Yes 42.0%
No 54.7%
Do not know; No answer 3.3%

 

Q34. If a once-mislabeled food product were put on the market again, would you feel resistance to eating it or not?

Highly resistant 23.1%
Somewhat resistant 41.5%
Not much resistance 22.5%
No resistance at all 12.4%
Do not know; No answer 0.6%

 

Q35. With the recent mislabeling of food products, has the way you select food changed? Please select as many from the following as apply.

Instead of relying solely on labels, now decide quality of food based on look and taste 25.3%
Trust in vendors and brands lost 28.4%
Choose vendors and brands that are more trustworthy 28.1%
Choose foods whose origin and distribution channel are clear 38.0%
Pay more attention to reports on food safety 36.4%
Study about food safety now 12.0%
Think it is useless to try to control food safety 7.7%
Other 0.5%
Nothing in particular changed 22.4%
Do not know; No answer 1.5%

 

Q36. If the expiration date or the “best by” date has passed, do you often just throw the food away, or do you decide whether or not to throw it away based on its appearance and smell?

Usually throw it away 24.2%
Decide by appearance and smell, etc. 73.4%
Do not know; No answer 2.4%

 

Q37. After the BSE issue, the Japanese government limited the import of American beef to that from cattle 20 months old or younger.  The U.S. is pressing for this restriction to be lifted, and Japan is considering loosening it to cattle under 30 months of age, which is the standard in many countries. Do you support or oppose this loosening of restrictions?

Support 22.5%
Against 69.3%
Do not know; No answer 8.1%

 

Fundamental Characteristics of the Survey Sample

Regional Distribution

Hokkaido, Tohoku 11.9%
Kanto 29.4%
Chubu 19.4%
Kinki 18.1%
Chugoku, Shikoku 9.8%
Kyushu 11.5%

 

City Scale

Large metropolitan areas (Tokyo’s 23 wards and ordinance-designated cities) 22.9%
Large mid-sized cities (cities with population over 300,000) 17.4%
Mid-sized cities (cities with population over 100,000) 25.7%
Small cities (cities with population under 100,000) 22.9%
Towns and villages 11.1%

The scale is based on the established standards as of September 30, 2007

 

Gender Distribution

Male 48.7%
Female 51.3%

 

Age Distribution (in years)

20-24 3.9%
25-29 6.0%
30-34 6.5%
35-39 8.3%
40-44 8.4%
45-49 7.5%
50-54 8.9%
55-59 11.6%
60-69 23.8%
Over 70 years old 15.1%

 

Educational Background

Elementary/middle-school graduate 14.2%
High-school student or graduate 48.3%
College/junior-college student or graduate 36.2%
Do not know; No answer 1.4%

 

Occupational Background

[Self-employed] 13.3%
[Salaried worker] 42.8%
[Other] 43.9%
Agriculture/Forestry/Fishing 3.4%
Business/Industry/Service 8.2%
Freelance Professional 1.6%
Management/Professional 5.2%
Office worker/Skill industry 17.3%
Labor/Service 20.3%
Housewife 23.8%
Domestic woman other than a housewife 4.2%
Student 1.5%
Other; Unemployed; No answer 14.5%

 

Household Annual Income (in Japanese yen)

Below 2 million 11.2%
In between 2 and 4 million 23.0%
In between 4 and 6 million 23.0%
In between 6 and 8 million 14.9%
In between 8 and 10 million 6.3%
Over 10 million 5.1%
Do not know; No answer 16.5%

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