Nikkei Shimbun December 2007 Opinion Polls (07-34)

Key Issues
  • Ruling and opposition party “policy consultation” vs. debate in the Diet
  • Resumption of Maritime Self Defense Forces refueling activities in Indian Ocean
  • Timing of dissolution of the Lower House
Dates Conducted

December 14 – 16, 2007

Methodology

Nationwide poll. See below for age and gender breakdown.

Background

The dust having just settled over Democratic Party of Japan leader Ozawa’s offer to resign and subsequent retraction of that resignation, Prime Minister and LDP head Fukuda met with Ozawa on November 22, 2007. During the meeting, Fukuda suggested holding policy discussions on pension reform and restarting the Maritime Self Defense Forces refueling mission in the Indian Ocean , but Ozawa refused, insisting that they debate in the Diet. The anti-terrorism special measures law, which allowed the Maritime Self Defense Forces to participate in refueling operations in the Indian Ocean , expired on November 1; lacking the opposition party’s support for its extension, the government was forced to withdraw MSDF from the region. Resumption of the refueling activities continues to be the main bone of contention between the ruling coalition and the DPJ, and the public is also split on the topic.

Survey

All numbers are percentages.

Q1. Do you support or not support the Fukuda cabinet? (N=870)

Support 43
Do not support 46
No answer/do not know 11

 

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=373)

Because it is an LDP cabinet 27
Good policies 5
Good sense of international affairs 14
Leadership 8
Stability 26
Trustworthy character of members 41
Politically clean 11
Others 4
No answer/do not know 5

 

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=399)

Because it is an LDP cabinet 27
Bad policies 33
Bad sense of international affairs 7
Lack of leadership 43
Instability 27
Members not trustworthy 23
Politically not clean 5
Others 3
No answer/do not know 2

 

Q2. Which political party do you currently support? Please choose only one. (N=870)

Liberal Democratic Party 33
Democratic Party ofJapan 24
Komeito 4
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 29
No answer/do not know 6

 

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=291)

Liberal Democratic Party 15
Democratic Party ofJapan 28
Komeito 1
JapanCommunist Party 5
Social Democratic Party 2
The People’s New Party 1
The New Party ofJapan 0
Other political party 0
Do not favor any party 34
No answer/do not know 15

[Support + Preferable Parties (N=870)]

Liberal Democratic Party 38
Democratic Party ofJapan 34
Komeito 4
JapanCommunist Party 4
Social Democratic Party 2
The People’s New Party 1
The New Party ofJapan 0
Other political party 0
Do not support or favor any party 12
No answer/do not know 5

 

Q3. Do you approve or not of the performance of the Fukuda cabinet? (N=870)

Approve 33
Do not approve 50
Cannot say either 6
No answer/do not know 1

 

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 9
Efforts for fiscal reform and economy policy 17
Efforts for pension issues 19
Stance on reducing elderly’s burden of medical expenses 11
Handling of antiterrorism measures issue 13
Handling of North Korean issue 4
Handling of Ministry of Defense scandals 6
Handling of “politics and money” issues 12
Others 4
No answer/do not know 7

 

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=437)

Stance on local revitalization 4
Efforts for fiscal reform and economy policy 24
Efforts for pension issues 27
Stance on reducing elderly’s burden of medical expenses 11
Handling of antiterrorism measures issue 2
Handling of North Korean issue 3
Handling of Ministry of Defense scandals 7
Handling of “politics and money” issues 15
Others 3
No answer/do not know 3

 

Q4. At a meeting between party leaders in late November, Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda asked Ichiro Ozawa (DPJ head) to cooperate in forming a discussion forum on the issues of pensions and refueling operations in the Indian Ocean . Ozawa refused, stating that they should debate in the Diet. In the future, how do you think the LDP and the DPJ should deal with these issues in the Diet? (N=870)

The LDP and the DPJ should hold policy consultations 24
The parties should debate during sessions of the Diet 63
Others 1
No answer/do not know 12

 

Q5. In the future, should the Democratic Party of Japan take an adversarial stance or a cooperative stance toward the government/ruling party? (N=870)

DPJ should take an adversarial stance 35
DPJ should take a cooperative stance 49
No answer/do not know 17

 

Q6. To support anti-terrorism measures in Afghanistan , the government dispatched the Maritime Self Defense Forces to the Indian Ocean , where it carried out logistic support operations. However, as the law permitting this expired November 1, the forces were withdrawn. Do you think activities in the Indian Ocean should be resumed? (N=870)

Activities should be resumed 39
Activities should not be resumed 44
Others 0
No answer/do not know 17

 

Q7. In the event that the Upper House votes down the new bill to resume MSDF refueling activities, the ruling party is prepared to hold a second vote on the bill in the Lower House, where it has a two-thirds majority. Do you approve or not approve of holding a revote in the Lower House? (N=870)

Approve 41
Do not approve 39
No answer/do not know 20

 

Q8. In the future, what kind of administration is desirable to you? (N=870)

An LDP single-party government 7
A coalition government based on the LDP and the Komeito 14
A DPJ-based government (non-LDP) 25
A coalition government that includes LDP and DPJ 36
Others 2
No answer/do not know 16

 

Q9. When do you think the dissolution of the House of Representatives and the general elections should be carried out? (N=870)

The House of Representatives should be dissolved as soon as possible 20
The House of Representatives should be dissolved after the budget is approved in spring of next year 32
It is not necessary to dissolve it in a hurry 34
Others 0
No answer/do not know 14

 

Q10. If an election for the House of Representatives were held right now, which party would you vote for in the proportional representation section of the ballot? Please choose one from the following. (N=870)

Liberal Democratic Party 32
Democratic Party ofJapan 38
Komeito 4
JapanCommunist Party 3
Social Democratic Party 3
The People’s New Party 1
The New Party ofJapan 0
Other political party 0
Would not vote 1
Cast a blank ballot 0
Undecided 2
No answer/do not know 14

 

F1. Gender (Determined by the polltaker) (N=870)

Male 43
Female 57
Unknown 0

 

F2. How old are you? (N=870)

In my 20s 6
In my 30s 19
In my 40s 18
In my 50s 16
In my 60s 23
70 years old or older 18
Refused to answer 1

Average age: 53.5

 

F3. What is your occupation? (N=870)

 

Agriculture, forestry and fisheries 4
Employee (company or government employee, teacher, etc.) 42
Self-owned business, self-employed (including a homemaker) 11
Full-time housewife(without job only) 23
Student 1
Unemployed 18
Refused to answer 1

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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