March 2007 Nikkei Telephone Interview Poll (07-8)

Key Issues
  • Support for the Abe Cabinet
  • Public interest in the local election
  • Readmission of the Diet Member of the LDP
  • Issues over the utility costs at the office of the Agricultural Minister
Dates Conducted

March 16 – 18, 2007

Methodology

Nationwide poll. See below for age and gender breakdown.

 

Background

Former House of Representatives member Seiichi Eto, who was expelled from the party after the September 2005 election and lost his seat in the Diet, was readmitted to the LDP. He was the first postal rebel without a Diet seat who was readmitted to the LDP. In addition,  Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fishers Toshikatsu Matsuoka faced a scandal involving his failure to account for the expenditures for running his office.  The Minister’s fund management entity booked a large sum of utility costs as expenses for his free-of-charge office in the Diet Member’s Hall, which are to be covered by public money. Minister Matsuoka committed suicide on May 29, after this poll was conducted.

 

Survey

Q1: Do you support or not support the Abe Cabinet? (N=901)

Support 43%
Do not support 45
Can not say; do not know 12

 

Q1SQ1: For those who answered “support” in Q1: What is the reason for your support? Please select as many as apply from the following seven. (N=383)

Because it is a LDP Cabinet 26%
Its policies are good 5
It has an international sense 15
It has leadership 4
It is stable 13
Can trust its members’ personalities 50
Politically clean 19
Other 5
Can not say; do not know 5

 

Q1SQ2: For those who answered “do not support” in Q1: What is the reason for your lack of support? Please select as many as apply from the following seven. (N=407)

Because it is an LDP Cabinet 19%
Its policies are bad 30
Do not have an international sense 11
Does not have a sense of leadership 57
It is not stable 35
Cannot trust its members’ personalities 12
Politically it is not clean 6
Other 6
Can not say; do not know 1

 

Q2: Which political party do you support right now? Please select one. (N=901)

Liberal Democratic Party 32%
Democratic Party ofJapan 11
NewKomeitoParty 3
JapanCommunist Party 2
Social Democratic Party ofJapan 1
The People’s New Party 0
The New PartyNippon 0
Others 1
Do not support any party 48
Can not say; do not know 2

 

Q2SQ:  For those who answered “do not support any party” or “Can not say/do not know” in Q2: If you had to select one, which party do you feel most preferable? Please select one only. (N=901)

Liberal Democratic Party 19%
Democratic Party ofJapan 14
NewKomeitoParty 1
JapanCommunist Party 6
Social Democratic Party ofJapan 1
The People’s New Party 0
The New PartyNippon 0
Others 1
Do not support any party 50
Can not say; do not know 7

[Support + preferable parties (N=901)]

Liberal Democratic Party 41
Democratic Party ofJapan 18
NewKomeitoParty 4
JapanCommunist Party 5
Social Democratic Party ofJapan 2
The People’s New Party 0
The New PartyNippon 0
Others 1
Do not support any party 25
Can not say; do not know 4

 

Q3. Do you support or not support the performance of the Abe Cabinet for the past half year after it was inaugurated? (N=901)

Support 29%
Not Support 56
Neither support nor not support 8
Can not say; Do not know 7

 

Q3SQ1: For those who answered “support” in Q3: What is the primary reason for your support of the Abe Cabinet? (N=261)

Efforts toward fiscal reconstruction 6%
Efforts toward educational reform 26
Restoration of party membership to opponents of the postal privatization 3
Confronting problems associated with politics and money 5
Confronting problems with cabinet members’ statements 3
Evaluation of the Japan Defense Agency to the Ministry of Defense 7
Posture towardKoreaandChina 13
Response toNorth Koreaissues 30
Other 1
Can not say; do not know 6

 

Q3SQ2: For those who answered “do not support” in Q3: What is the primary reason for not supporting the Abe Cabinet? (N=502)

Efforts toward fiscal reconstruction 10%
Efforts toward educational reform 6
Restoration of party membership to opponents of the postal privatization 15
Confronting problems associated with politics and money 25
Confronting problems with cabinet members’ statements 21
Evaluation of the Japan Defense Agency to the Ministry of Defense 2
Posture towardKoreaandChina 3
Response toNorth Koreaissues 12
Other 3
Can not say; do not know 3

 

Q4. How do you evaluate the attitudes of the Abe Cabinet toward reforms as compared with the Koizumi Cabinet? (N=901)

Positively evaluate 3%
Negatively evaluate 50
Not have a big difference between the two 38
Can not say; do not know 9

 

Q5. LDP has readmitted to the party Diet Member Seiichi Eto, who was expelled from the LDP because of his opposition to postal privatization and lost his seat in the election. What do you think of this? (N=901)

It was appropriate 16%
It was not appropriate 67
Ca not say; do not know 17

 

Q6. In regards to the issue of the management of funds by  the fund management entity of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries  Minister Matsuoka, which reported large costs for utilities for the Minister’s office in the Diet Member’s Hall, Minister Matsuoka explained that he has reported appropriately by observing the law. What do you think about this? (N=901)

That is not a problem 3%
Needs more detailed explanation 86
Can not say; do not know 11

 

Q7. What do you think about NHK’s reception fee charge system? (N=901)

Reception fees has to be mandatory by revising the laws 23%
Should maintain the current reception fee charge system 16
Reception fee charge system has to be abolished and has to be privatized 50
Can not say; do not know 11

 

Q8. There has been a voice in LDP asking for the Cabinet reshuffle. What do you think about this? (N=901)

Has to be reshuffled before the Upper House election in July 32%
Has to be reshuffled after the Upper House election 33
There is no need to reshuffle for the moment 20
Can not say; do not know 15

 

Q9. How much are you interested in the general election in April? (N=901)

Very much interested 24%
Interested to some extent 45
Not interested very much 20
Not interested at all 4
Can not say; do not know 7

 

Q10. In terms of the local administration, what kinds of issues are you interested in most? Please select one out of the following (N=901):

Support for child care and counter-measures for declining birthrates 12%
Educational issues 12
Healthcare and the welfare issues 27
Job security 9
Regional financial reconstruction 12
Issues of regional disparities 5
City planning and environmental protection 2
Measurement for preventing disaster and securing peace and order 2
Confronting problems associated with politics and money 10
Can not say; do not know 9

 

Polling Information
F1. Gender (judged by interviewers; N=901)

Male 44%
Female 56
Unknown 0

 

F2. Age (N=901)

20s 6%
30s 17
40s 18
50s 23
60s 18
70s 17
Refused to answer 1

 

F3. What is your occupation? Please select one out of the following (N=901):

Agriculture, forestry and fishing 2%
Employed (corporate employee, civil servant, teacher, etc.) 44
Self-employed, freelance (including family business) 11
Housewife (without any outside jobs) 19
Student 1
Unemployed 20
Refused to answer 2

Disclaimer

The Mansfield Foundation is responsible for the translation of this Asahi Shimbun poll, subject to the Mansfield Foundation terms of use (see below).

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