Yomiuri Shimbun August 2007 Opinion Poll (07-35)

Key Issues
  • Evaluation of the Abe administration/Cabinet
  • House of Councillors election results
  • Reasons for voting/abstaining in House of Councillor’s election
  • Voter behavior/decisions
  • Japanese peoples’ manners
Dates Conducted

August 4 and 5, 2007

Methodology

Yomiuri conducted the poll in individual interviews on August 4 and 5, 2007, using a stratified two-stage random sample of 3,000 voters in 250 different locations. 1,784 people, or 59.5% of those selected, responded.

 

Survey

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

Support 27.2% (38.3)
Do not support 63.7% (50.6)
Other 3.1% (2.8)
Do not know; No answer 5.9% (8.3)

Figures in parentheses are results from polls conducted in June 2007

 

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

Please select up to two reasons from the following list for why you support the Abe cabinet.

Positively evaluate its political stance 27.6% (30.8)
Feel that it is stable 8.8% (11.8)
Can trust the Prime Minister 22.0% (23.2)
Have a fresh image of the Prime Minister 29.4% (34.8)
Positively evaluate its economic policies 7.4 % (4.8)
Positively evaluate its foreign policy 11.3% (15.2)
It is a coalition between the Liberal Democratic Party and the Komeito Party 19.8% (14.8)
It is better than previous cabinets 8.6% (11.9)
Other; Do not know; No answer 11.1% (7.2)

Figures in parentheses are results from polls conducted in June 2007

 

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

Please select up to two reasons from the following list for why you do not support the Abe cabinet.

Cannot positively evaluate its political stance 47.1% (45.9)
Do not feel that the cabinet is stable 34.1% (34.4)
Cannot trust the Prime Minister 26.3% (25.3)
The Prime Minister’s political experience is lacking 18.2% (14.4)
Cannot support the administration’s economic policies 18.8% (22.9)
Cannot support the administration’s foreign policy 3.4% (6.8)
It is a coalition between the Liberal Democratic Party and the Komeito Party 8.7% (11.3)
It is worse than previous cabinets 12.8% (10.0)
Other; Do not know; No answer 4.5% (3.9)

Figures in parentheses are results from polls conducted in June 2007

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

Economic conditions/job security 51.7% (51.1)
Fiscal reconstruction 22.1% (19.2)
Tax reform and the issue of the consumption tax 33.9% (27.4)
Social security reform, including pensions and healthcare 65.1% (59.5)
Support for child care and countermeasures for declining birthrates 24.9% (29.0)
Education reform 20.9% (24.8)
Administrative reform, such as cutting back the number of government employees 20.8% (17.6)
Problems of income disparities 32.7% (27.2)
YasukuniShrine issue 4.3% (8.4)
Foreign policy toward Asia, including China and South Korea 11.4% (15.0)
Issues with North Korea 20.6% (29.4)
National defense and security 9.8% (13.9)
Constitutionalrevision 7.4% (11.5)
Disaster prevention and crisis management 11.2% (11.0)
Public safety and crime prevention 15.1% (26.6)
Environmental protection 18.6% (21.9)
Food safety 23.7% (15.0)
Other; Nothing special; Do not know; No answer 4.0% (2.8)

Figures in parentheses are results from polls conducted in May 2007

 

Q3. Which political party do you currently support? Please select one.

Liberal Democratic Party 25.8% (32.9)
Democratic Party of Japan 26.9% (14.3)
Komeito Party 3.6% ( 4.0)
Japan Communist Party 2.2% ( 2.4)
Social Democratic Party of Japan 1.0% ( 1.2)
The New People’s Party 0.2%(0.2)
The New Party Nippon 0.4% (—–)
Other 0.1%(—–)
Do not support any party 38.7% (44.4)
Do not know; No answer 1.1% ( 0.7)

Figures in parentheses are results from polls conducted in June 2007

 

SQ. [For those who answered “do not support any party” to Q3]

Please select one reason from the following list why you do not support any party.

Do not want to support a political party 7.8%
There is no particular party I want to support now 69.2%
Not interested in politics in the first place 16.1%
Other 3.8%
Do not know; No answer 3.2%

 

Q4.  Do you positively evaluate or not the steps taken by the government on the issue of the misplaced pension record?

Evaluate very positively 7.7%
Evaluate somewhat positively 29.5%
Do not really evaluate positively 31.9%
Do not evaluate positively at all 27.5%
Do not know; No answer 3.4%

 

Q5. In the House of Councilors election held on July 29, the LDP and Komeito ruling coalition parties faced a landslide defeat while the opposition parties, including the DJP, gained a majority of seats in the upper house.  Overall, do you find this to be a desirable result or not?

Desirable 33.9%
Somewhat desirable 27.2%
Somewhat undesirable 19.2%
Undesirable 12.3%
Do not know; No answer 7.4%

 

Q6. Overall, do you positively evaluate or not the performance of the Abe cabinet to date?

Evaluate very positively 3.7%(6.3)
Evaluate somewhat positively 25.8%(36.3)
Do not really evaluate positively 41.3%(37.2)
Do not evaluate positively at all 25.3%(16.7)
Do not know; No answer 3.9%(3.4)

Figures in parentheses are results from polls conducted in June 2007

Q7. [Despite the poor July Upper House election results] Prime Minister Abe has chosen to remain in power, saying he wants to continue the reform process and fulfill his duties as prime minister. Do you think Prime Minister Abe will be able to achieve satisfactory results?

Yes 17.8%
No 54.4%
Cannot say one way or the other 25.2%
Do not know; No answer 2.6%

 

Q8. Prime Minister Abe is planning to reshuffle the Cabinet and change the minister lineup. Do you have high expectations for this Cabinet reshuffle?

Have expectations 21.9%
Generally have expectations 20.0%
Generally do not have expectations 24.4%
Do not have expectations 30.8%
Do not know; No answer 3.0%

 

Q9. How long do you want the Abe Cabinet to continue? Please select one from the list of responses.

As long as possible 13.8%
About 2 years 11.9%
About 1 year 21.0%
About half a year 9.0%
Want resignation as soon as possible 37.2%
Other 0.9%
Do not know; No answer 6.3%

 

Q10. Seeing the results from this past [House of Councilors] election, when do you think the next dissolution of the lower house/general election should be held? Please select one from the list of responses.

As soon as possible 31.8%
Within the year 21.4%
In spring of next year, after the budget for next fiscal year has been decided 10.3%
Sometime next year 12.6%
Anytime before Sept. 9, 2009, when the term ends 16.2%
Do not know; No answer 7.7%

 

Q11. In the next House of Representatives election, do you want the Liberal Democratic Parry or the Democratic Party of Japan to win?

LDP 31.6%
DPJ 36.4%
Can’t say either one 30.5%
Do not know; No answer 1.5%

 

Q12. What arrangement of political parties do you think is ideal in an administration right now? Please choose one from the following list of responses.

The current LDP/Komeito coalition 21.1%
LDP one-party rule 9.9%
Opposition-party coalition centered on DPJ 27.3%
DPJ one-party rule 8.1%
Realign ruling and opposition parties and create administration under new framework 20.5%
Other 0.9%
Do not know; No answer 12.3%

 

Q13. Do you think Japanese politics are likely to proceed in a positive direction or a negative direction?

Proceed in a positive direction 14.1% (19.5)
Generally proceed in a positive direction 39.4% (39.0)
Generally proceed in a negative direction 26.6% (19.9)
Proceed in a negative direction 7.8% (10.1)
Do not know; No answer 12.2% (11.5)

Figures in parentheses are results from polls conducted in September2005

 

Q14. The voter turnout for this past House of Councilors election was 58%; it appears as though many did not go to vote. Did you vote or abstain?

Voted 79.3%
Abstained 20.5%
Do not know; No answer 0.3%

 

[SQ1. to SQ8. are only for those who answered “Voted” to Q14]

SQ1. Please choose one reason from the following list as to why you voted this time.

There was a candidate I wanted to vote for 15.6%
There was a party I wanted to vote for 26.1%
There was an issue I wanted to express my opinion on 23.0%
Did not want to throw away my vote 28.9%
Simply felt like voting 4.2%
Other 1.5%
Do not know; No answer 0.8%

 

SQ2. About what time of day did you go to vote? Please select one from the following.

AM 50.0%
Noon to 6PM 29.2%
After 6PM 9.4%
Voted early (absentee ballot) 11.1%
Do not know; No answer 0.3%

 

SQ3. [In Japan, the House of Coucillors employs a two-vote system where the voter fills in a candidate name (prefecture level with 47 districts) and a party name (nationwide, proportional representation) on the ballot.] In the prefectural candidate part of the ballot, what party was the candidate you voted for from? Please select one from the following..

Liberal Democratic Party 34.4%
Democratic Party of Japan 47.8%
Komeito Party 3.9%
Japan Communist Party 4.2%
Social Democratic Party of Japan 1.6%
The New People’s Party 0.8%
Other party 0.1 %
Independent 3.6%
Do not know; No answer 3.5%

 

SQ4. In the proportional representation part of the ballot, what party was the candidate you voted for from or what party did you vote for? Please select one from the following..

Liberal Democratic Party 31.3%
Democratic Party of Japan 46.7%
Komeito Party 8.0%
Japan Communist Party 4.0%
Social Democratic Party of Japan 3.0%
The New People’s Party 1.4%
New Party Nippon 1.1%
Ishin Seito Shimpu
9-jonetto 0.2%
Kyosei Shinto 0.1%
Joseito 0.7%
Do not know; No answer 3.5%

 

[For those who answered “Liberal Democratic Party” to SQ4, continue on to SQ5, SQ7, SQ8]

[For those who answered “Democratic Party of Japan” to SQ4, continue on to SQ6, SQ7, SQ8]

[For those who answered anything besides “Liberal Democratic Party” or “Democratic Party of Japan” to SQ4, continue on to SQ7, SQ8]

 

SQ5. [For those who answered “Liberal Democratic Party” to SQ4 only]

In the proportional representation part of the ballot, why did you vote for the Liberal Democratic Party or an LDP candidate? Please choose as many reasons from the following as apply.

Positively evaluated LDP policy 19.2%
Positively evaluated the Abe Cabinet’s performance 5.4%
Had expectations for Prime Minister Abe 27.6%
Thought the opposition party(ies) were inadequate 30.1%
Wanted political stability 24.7%
Have always voted for the LDP 30.3%
There was a candidate I liked 9.0%
Other 2.7%
Do not know; No answer 1.4%

 

SQ6. [For those who answered “Democratic Party of Japan” to SQ4 only]

In the proportional representation part of the ballot, why did you vote for the Democratic Party of Japan or a DPJ candidate? Please choose as many reasons from the following as apply

Positively evaluated DPJ policy 17.1%
Was disappointed with Prime Minster Abe’s political stance 43.9%
Had expectations for [DPJ president] Ozawa 20.2%
Did not want to let the LDP to win 31.8%
Wanted political change 43.8%
Have always voted for the DPJ 5.5%
There was a candidate I liked 5.5%
Other 1.1%
Do not know; No answer 0.6%

 

SQ7. When you selected a candidate/party to vote for in the proportional representation part of the ballot, what did you place importance on? Select as many as apply from the following responses.

Policies of party/candidate 29.3%
Party/candidate’s eagerness for reform 29.2%
The makeup of and/or way party is run 13.0%
Candidate’s character/competence 18.6%
Party head’s competence 8.0%
Party I always vote for 18.2%
Party with governmental responsibility 6.6%
Critical stance on current administration 18.6%
Other; Nothing in particular;Do not know; No answer 8.2%

 

SQ8. Roughly when did you make your final decision on which candidate/party to vote for? Please choose one from the following.

Before the official announcement 47.0%
Around July 12, the time of the official announcement 6.9%
In the first half of campaign 12.4%
In the last half of campaign 18.9%
The day before the election 7.4%
July 29, election day 5.6%
Do not know; No answer 1.8%

 

 

SQ9. [For those who answered “did not vote” in Q14 only]

Please choose as many reasons as apply from the following list as to why you did not vote this time.

Was turned off by the current political situation 14.8%
There was no candidate/party I wanted to vote for 21.9%
The political issues were vague and I was not interested 9.0%
There is no distinction between parties and I thought my vote would not matter 13.2%
Thought whether I vote or not there is no effect on the election results 14.5%
Wanted to vote but circumstances prevented it 37.8%
Have no interest in politics in the first place 17.8%
Other 3.3%
Do not know; No answer 4.1%

 

Q15. In this past election, what kind of issues did you place importance on? Please choose as many as apply from the following list.

Economy/employment 42.7%
Fiscal reconstruction 20.4%
Tax reform and the consumption tax 26.8%
Social security, including pensions 61.3%
Support for child care and countermeasures for declining birthrates 17.3%
Education reform 14.7%
Administrative reform, including the civilservice system 15.4%
Politics and money 32.4%
Income gap and other disparities 23.9%
Issues with North Korea 12.3%
Foreign policy and national security 8.8%
Amendment of the Constitution 9.2%
Crisis management, including disaster prevention 6.2%
Public safety/crime prevention 8.9%
Environmental measures 10.0%
Foodsafety measures 14.7%
Agricultural policy 5.8%
Other; Nothing in particular; Do not know; No answer 8.9%

 

Q16. What do you think was evaluated in this past House of Councillor’s election? Please choose as many as apply from the following list.

Performance of the Abe Cabinet 27.0%
Whether to continue to leave the administration to the Abe Cabinet 38.1%
Prime Minster Abe’s political stance 36.8%
Resolution of the pension issue 58.4%
Resolution of (wealth) disparity issues 20.3%
Necessity of constitutional revision 9.2%
Functioning of the House of Councillors 8.7%
Other 0.8%
Nothing in particular 4.1%
Do not know; No answer 1.9%

 

Q17. From the things you saw/heard in this election, what in particular helped you to decide on a candidate/party to vote for? Please select up to two from the following.

Campaign broadcasts 16.9%
Election bulletins 15.1%
Newspaper advertisements 14.0%
Party TV commercials 10.2%
Stump speech 6.6%
Party campaign pledges/manifests 15.6%
Bill, flyer, poster 8.2%
TV/newspaper election reporting 42. 3%
Party homepage/internet advertisement 2.4%
Other; Nothing in particular;Do not know; No answer 20.0%

 

Q18. Before election day, on TV and in newspapers it was predicted that “the LDP might lose its majority” and “the DPJ could become the dominant party.” With reference to this coverage, how did you vote? Please select one from the following.

I had planned to vote for the ruling party/candidate, and did so 15.6%
I had planned to vote for the ruling party/candidate, but changed it to the opposition party 2.4%
I had planned to vote for the opposition party/candidate, and did so 17.9%
I had planned to vote for the opposition party/candidate, but changed it to the ruling party 0.8%
I was not particularly influenced 53.3%
I did not hear/see such coverage 4.4%
Do not know; No answer 5.5%

 

Q19. In the House of Representatives election that took place under the Koizumi Cabinet in September 2005, called as the “Japan Post privatization election,” which party did you vote for in the proportional-representation bloc? Please choose one from the following list.

Liberal Democratic Party 48.3%(44.5)
Democratic Party of Japan 20.6%(20.3)
Komeito Party 4.7 %(4.6)
Japan Communist Party 2.8%(2.9)
Social Democratic Party of Japan 1.9%(1.6)
The New People’s Party 0.6 %(0.5)
The New Party Nippon 0.1 %(0.1)
New Party Daichi 0.1%(0.1)
Abstained 8.9%(10.6)
Forgot; Did not have the right to vote; Do not know; No answer 12.0%(15.0)

Figures in parentheses are results from polls conducted in June 2007

Manners

Q20. Do you ever feel that Japanese people’s manners have gotten worse lately or not?

Often 53.5% (54.2)
Sometimes 34.4% (36.2)
Not really 10.1 % ( 7.4)
Not at all 1.1% ( 1.2)
Do not know; No answer 0.9 % ( 1.0)

Figures in parentheses are results from polls conducted in May 2002

 

SQ. [For those who answered “Often/Sometimes” to Q20 only]

What do you think the underlying reason is that Japanese people’s manners have gotten worse? Please select as many as apply from the following list.

Problems with discipline at home 76.8%
Problems with education at school 30.2%
Adults no longer pay attention to children around them 53.6%
Adults no longer observe proper manners 60.1%
Increase in people who are unconcerned about others’ behavior 36.7%
Loss of sense of shame 28.6%
Increase in people who do not think about others’ feelings 48.2%
Increase in people who do not think of themselves as a member of society 32.1%
Other;Do not know; No answer 1.3%

 

Q21. In what generation do you think there are particularly a lot of people with bad manners? Please select as many as apply from the following list.

Children up to elementary school 13.8% (13.6)
Middle/high school students 48.5% (59.7)
Young men 53.8% (57.2)
Young women 59.2% (60.3)
Middle-aged men 30.2% (23.2)
Middle-aged women 33.7% (27.5)
Older men 10.0% ( 8.7)
Older women 9.2% ( 8.7)
None in particular 7.8% ( 5.7)
Do not know; No answer 1.8% ( 0.9)

Figures in parentheses are results from polls conducted in May 2002

Q22. Are there any actions other people take that you find particularly irritating?  Please select as many as apply from the following list.

Littering cigarettes, gum, cans, etc. 58.9%
Parking one’s bike on sidewalk/walkway 16.8%
A non-handicapped person parking in a space for handicapped people 29.3%
Not cleaning up after one’s pet 43.1%
Letting one’s dog run free in parks, etc. 12.8%
Not following rules for putting out trash 30.9%
Smoking while walking/outside of smoking areas 31.1%
Spitting in the street 28.4%
Cutting in line 26.3%
Not apologizing after stepping on another’s foot/brushing against another’s body 20.5%
Speaking on one’s cell phone in the train/bus 38.1%
Listening to music at a loud volume in the train/bus 22.0%
Not giving up one’s seat to elderly/disabled people 28.5%
Sitting on the floor of trains/buses or on the ground in front of convenience stores, etc. 30.9%
Parents who do not reprimand their children even if they are acting up 57.8%
Applying one’s make up in front of others 22.6%
Other 0.8%
Nothing in particular;Do not know; No answer 3.0%

 

Q23. Out of the following five actions, which can you pass off as just a trivial matter? Select as many as apply.

Crossing even if the light is red, once having ensured no cars are coming 30.2%
Throwing away household trash at trash cans in parks, stations, or convenience stores 10.1%
Returning a book to the library after the due date 20.5%
A fit person sitting in open priority seating on trains/buses 25.9%
Answering one’s cell phone in a quiet voice in the bus/train if a call comes 38.5
Cannot approve any of the above 21.6%
Do not know; No answer 3.3%

 

Q24. Do you think you have the necessary public manners to live in society or not?

I do 72.6%
I do not 20.1%
Do not know; No answer 7.3%

 

Q25. Lately, “the manners of old Edo,” or the public manners of townspeople in the Edo period, have gained attention as a way to show consideration or kindness toward other people.  From the next five “gestures of Edo,” please select any you would like to learn.

Tilting one’s umbrella-when two people pass by on a narrow road, they each hold their umbrellas to the side so they do not touch each other 47.8%
Pulling in one’s shoulder-whentwo people pass by on a narrow road, they each pull in their shoulder so they do not brush each other 45.7%
Sitting one fisthigh-sitting in such a way that a fist could fit under you when riding on vehicles(to allow more people to sit) 32.0%
Apology for carelessness-when one’s foot is stepped on, not only the perpetrator but the injured party also apologizes for “carelessness” 40.1%
Glance in greeting-casually greetingevena person one does not know with a friendly glance 43.2%
None 11.0%
Do not know; No answer 3.5%

 

Q26. When you see people littering cigarettes or gum, or parents who do not reprimand their children even when they are acting up, etc., do you say something to that person or not?

Always say something 3.6%
Sometimes say something 19.3%
Do not usually say something 38.4%
Never say anything 37.6%
Do not know; No answer 1.1%

 

SQ. [For those who answered “Do not usually say something”/“Never say anything” to Q26 only]

From the following list, please choose any many reasons as apply as to why you do not say anything.

Am not particularly bothered 3.5%
It has nothing to do with me 8.7%
One should mind their own business 26.1%
If I can tolerate it,that is the end of it 19.2%
Someone else will probably say something 7.4%
I might be subject to criticism/violence 64.5%
Others might think I am strange 6.9%
Am not confident whether my saying something is appropriate or not 12.5%
Other; Do not know; No answer 2.9%

 

Q27.  What kinds of things do you think are particularly necessary to improve public manners? Please choose as many from the following as apply.

Paying attention to whether you are inconveniencing someone or not 51.5%
Everyone having consideration for each other 63.3%
Creating an environment where residents look out for each other through residents’ and neighborhood association activities, etc. 24.1%
Strengthening government appeals in newspapers, TV, public transport broadcasts, etc. 10.4%
Improving public manner education at schools 43.4%
Improving public manner discipline at home 66.9%
Setting up government-sponsored opportunities for parents to learn about public manners 17.2%
Governmentprohibition ofbad manners, such as littering, andimposition ofa penalty 17.7%
Other 0.2%
Do not know; No answer 1.7%

 

Q28. If someone is violating public manners in a public place, do you think the surrounding people should caution that person or not?

Yes 79.0%
No 13.5%
Do not know; No answer 7.6%

 

Q29. Hypothetically speaking, if you were to be cautioned in a public space on your manners, how do you think you would feel? Please select one from the following.

Like I did something wrong 40.2%
Embarrassed 53.4%
Would get angry at the person who said something 2.8%
Other 0.2%
Would not feel anything in particular 2.0%
Do not know; No answer 1.3%

 

Q29. The government is now reviewing the current state of moral education and is considering reinforcing education wherein children acquire societal norms. Do you support or are you against this policy?

Support 69.1%
Generally support 22.4%
Generally against 3.8%
Against 2.2%
Do not know; No answer 2.5%

 

Fundamental Characteristics of the Survey Sample

Regional Distribution

Hokkaido, Tohoku 11.5%
Kanto 28.5%
Chubu 20.0%
Kinki 18.3%
Chugoku, Shikoku 9.6%
Kyushu 11.9%

 

City Scale

Large metropolitan areas (Tokyo’s 23 wards and ordinance-designated cities) 20.2%
Large mid-sized cities (cities with population over 300,000) 18.7%
Mid-sized cities (cities with population over 100,000) 25.0%
Small cities (cities with population under 100,000) 23.8%
Towns and villages 12.3%

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

 

Gender Distribution

Male 45.0%
Female 55.0%

 

Age Distribution (in years)

20-24 5.0%
25-29 5.3%
30-34 5.7%
35-39 7.6%
40-44 8.4%
45-49 8.5%
50-54 10.9%
55-59 12.7%
60-69 20.6%
Over 70 years old 15.4%

 

Educational Background

Elementary/middle-school graduate 15.0%
High-school student or graduate 49.9%
College/junior-college student or graduate 34.4%
Do not know; No answer 0.7%

 

Occupational Background

[Self-employed] 13.8%
[Salaried worker] 45.0%
[Other] 41.3%
Agriculture/Forestry/Fishing 3.4%
Business/Industry/Service 9.0%
Freelance Professional 1.4%
Management/Professional 5.1%
Office worker/Skill industry 17.4%
Labor/Service 22.5%
Housewife 22.1%
Domestic woman other than a housewife 4.5%
Student 2.1%
Other; Unemployed; No answer 12.5%

 

Household Annual Income (in Japanese yen)

Below 2 million 10.8%
In between 2 and 4 million 20.7%
In between 4 and 6 million 21.9%
In between 6 and 8 million 15.1%
In between 8 and 10 million 7.0%
Over 10 million 5.0%
Do not know; No answer 19.6%

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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