Yomiuri Shimbun February 2008 Opinion Polls (08-05)

Key Issues
  • Evaluation of the Fukuda Administration/Cabinet
  • Extension of the provisional tax on gasoline
  • Views on politics, politicians, and the state of the Diet
  • Changes since 2003 municipal mergers
  • Sports viewership and the 2008 Olympics
Dates Conducted

February 16 and 17, 2008

Methodology

Yomiuri conducted the poll in individual interviews on February 16 and 17, 2008, using a stratified two-stage random sample of 3,000 voters in 250 different locations. 1,734 people, or 57.8% of those selected, responded.

Survey

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

Support 38.7% (45.6)
Do not support 50.8% (41.6)
Other 2.8% ( 3.5)
Do not know; No answer 7.7% ( 9.3)

Figures in parentheses are results from polls conducted in January 2008

 

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 26.7% (25.2)
Feel that it is stable 31.4% (35.4)
Can trust the Prime Minister 24.1% (24.2)
Positively evaluate its economic policies 6.4% ( 6.7)
Positively evaluate its foreign policy 5.7% ( 9.4)
It is a coalition between the Liberal Democratic Party and the Komeito Party 12.2% ( 8.6)
Fukuda is an LDP Prime Minister 27.4% (24.5)
It is better than previous Cabinets 13.3% (13.6)
Other; Do not know; No answer 5.1% ( 6.8)

Figures in parentheses are results from polls conducted in January 2008

 

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 47.9% (41.6)
Do not feel that the cabinet is stable 27.6% (27.0)
Cannot trust the Prime Minister 27.8% (25.6)
Cannot support the administration’s economic policies 37.0% (35.6)
Cannot support the administration’s foreign policy 7.8% ( 9.6)
It is a coalition between the Liberal Democratic Party and the Komeito Party 10.6% (12.1)
Fukuda is an LDP Prime Minister 5.4%( 7.2)
It is worse than previous cabinets 6.6% ( 5.5)
Other; Do not know; No answer 2.4% ( 3.4)

Figures in parentheses are results from polls conducted in January 2008

 

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

Economic conditions/job security 56.9% (55.4)
Fiscal reconstruction 23.0% (22.3)
Tax reform and the issue of the consumption tax 30.2% (30.7)
Social security reform, including pensions and healthcare 62.1% (62.5)
Support for child care and countermeasures for declining birthrates 27.8% (27.4)
Education reform 20.5% (18.5)
Problems of income disparities 26.0% (28.3)
Administrative reform, such as cutting back the number of government employees 17.0% (16.3)
Politics and money issues 28.5% (31.5)
Foreign policy toward Asia, including China and South Korea 12.8% (12.3)
Issues with North Korea 18.1% (19.7)
National defense and security 8.3% (10.2)
Constitutional revision 4.4% ( 5.3)
Disaster prevention and crisis management 8.0% ( 7.7)
Public safety and crime prevention 14.8% (19.4)
Environmental protection 21.6% (21.6)
Food safety 40.3% (24.8)
Other; Nothing special; Do not know; No answer 2.4% ( 2.8)

Figures in parentheses are results from polls conducted in January 2008

 

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

Liberal Democratic Party 32.6% (35.5)
Democratic Party of Japan 20.0% (16.9)
KomeitoParty 3.2% ( 2.2)
Japan Communist Party 2.1% ( 2.3)
Social Democratic Party of Japan 0.9% ( 1.0)
The New People’s Party 0.1%( 0.2)
The New Party Nippon 0.1% (—)
Other —%( 0.2)
Do not support any party 40.4% (40.7)
Do not know; No answer 0.8% ( 1.3)

Figures in parentheses are results from polls conducted in January 2008

 

Q4. Please state which impression is closer to your own on each of the following 4 aspects concerning Prime Minister Fukuda.

Exercises leadership in the Cabinet and his party 24.9%
Does not exercise leadership in the Cabinet and his party 68.6%
Beliefs and opinions are clear 24.0%
Beliefs and opinions are not clear 69.5%
Sufficiently explains policies 13.7%
Does not sufficiently explain policies 80.0%
Visibly taking on reforms 18.1%
Not visibly taking on reforms 74.9%
Do not know; No answer (Those who gave no response to any of the above) 4.4%

 

Q5. Do you think that Prime Minister Fukuda is responding appropriately to the recent changes in economic circumstances or not?

Yes 19.3%
No 74.9%
Do not know; No answer 5.8%

 

Q6. Do you think the provisional tax on gasoline for road improvement should be maintained even after it expires in March. or should it be scrapped?

Should be maintained 29.4%
Should be scrapped 62.1%
Do not know; No answer 8.5%

 

Q7. Concerning the bill to continue the additional tax on gasoline, the ruling and opposition parties agreed to conduct thorough deliberations and come to a resolution by the end of March. The ruling party stresses that it will hold a vote by the end of March, while the opposition party states that they have not promised to vote. Do you think this bill should be put to a vote by the end of March?

Yes 45.2%
No 45.2%
Do not know; No answer 9.7%

 

Q8. On the bill to continue the added tax on gasoline, the ruling party aims to pass it, while the opposition party is against this. Do you think the ruling and opposition parties should come to an agreement through compromising and amending the bill?

Yes 60.4%
No 30.3%
Do not know; No answer 9.3%

 

Q9. Overall, do you approve of the Democratic Party of Japan’s handling of the current session of Parliament?

Highly approve 5.2%
Somewhat approve 35.9%
Do not really approve 38.2%
Do not approve at all 14.9%
Do not know; No answer 5.7%

 

Q10. 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 20.8%
This spring, after the new fiscal year budget is passed 9.6%
After the [G8] Summit in July 18.2%
Within the year 20.5%
Anytime before the term ends in Sept. 2009 20.9%
Do not know; No answer 9.9%

 

Q11. 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 30.1% (34.7)
Democratic Party of Japan 25.5% (22.2)
KomeitoParty 3.4% ( 2.7)
Japan Communist Party 2.7% ( 3.0)
Social Democratic Party of Japan 1.3% ( 1.5)
The New People’s Party 0.2% ( 0.5)
The New Party Nippon 0.3% ( —)
Other 0.1% ( —)
Undecided 35.2% (34.4)
Do not know; No answer 1.1% ( 0.9)

Figures in parentheses are results from polls conducted in January 2008

 

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/Komeitocoalition 22.0%
Coalition of opposition-parties centered on DPJ 17.5%
LDP one-party rule 6.7%
DPJ one-party rule 5.2%
Coalition government between LDP and DPJ 19.0%
New framework involving realignment of ruling and opposition parties 17.2%
Other 0.1%
Do not know; No answer 12.2%

 

Q13. Do you have trust in Japanese political parties and politicians or not?

Have great trust 2.7%
Have some trust 27.2%
Do not have much trust 45.0%
Have no trust at all 23.0%
Do not know; No answer 2.0%

 

Q14. What areas of national politics do you have interest in?  Please select up to three from the following.

Government’s economic policy 65.1%
Government’s foreign policy 34.3%
Government’s environmental/welfare/education policy 55.9%
Opposition party’s policy 9.6%
Elections and election results 9.6%
Debates in the Diet 16.9%
Rivalry between politicians and factions 8.1%
Individual politicians 4.8%
Other 0.5%
Do not know; No answer 10.3%

 

Q15. On a day-to-day basis, what do you think Diet members prioritize in their actions? Please select as many from the following as apply.

The interest of citizens as a whole 27.3%
The interest of constituencies 43.9%
The policy of their party 38.3%
The wishes of their support groups 26.5%
The wishes of bureaucrats 24.9%
The interest of the business community/large corporations 29.6%
Interested organizations, such as unions 9.7%
Citizen groups such as consumer organizations 8.3%
Other 3.4%
Do not know; No answer 8.0%

 

Q16. When you evaluate a political party, on what kind of points do you place emphasis? Please select up to three from the following.

Policy content 58.9%
Party leader’s competence 28.8%
Ability to run the government 21.8%
Position on reform 37.2%
Long-term vision 19.8%
Competence of party members 15.9%
Transparency of political funding 17.4%
Position on the disadvantaged 23.6%
Other 0.3%
Do not know; No answer 6.8%

 

Q17. If a politician thinks that a policy is necessary for the country, but a majority of the people are against it, do you think the politician should push the policy through anyway?

Yes 38.4%
No 54.8%
Do not know; No answer 6.7%

 

Q18. As a form of democracy, do you think that in the Diet, even if opposing opinions exist, that deciding by majority rule is only natural?

Yes 49.8%
No 44.6%
Do not know; No answer 5.5%

 

Q19. Generally speaking, do you think that it is sometimes better to have a change in the ruling party?

Yes 63.3%
No 26.9%
Do not know; No answer 9.7%

 

SQ1. [For those who answered “Yes” to Q19]

Please select up to three reasons as to why you think it is better to have a change of government.

Direction of policy will change 49.1%
Political structure will change 34.4%
Political corruption will be less likely 55.4%
Policy debate between the parties will become more animated 44.4%
Influence of the bureaucracy will get weaker 30.3%
Other 0.4%
No particular reason 2.7%
Do not know; No answer 0.3%

 

SQ2. [For those who answered “No” to Q19]

Please select up to three reasons as to why you think it is better not to have a change of government.

Policy will lose consistency 66.0%
Political confusion will occur 65.7%
Political corruption will remain 6.6%
Elections will get more attention than policy 25.7%
Influence of bureaucracy will get stronger 8.4%
Other 1.3%
No particular reason 4.1%
Do not know; No answer 0.9%

 

Q20. Do you think transfer of power from the ruling party to the opposition party will occur in the near future or not?

Yes 40.8%
No 49.8%
Do not know; No answer 9.3%

 

Q21. Concerning the so-called “twisted Diet,” where the ruling party has a majority in the House of Representatives and the opposition party a majority in the House of Councillors, which view is closer to your opinion?: (A) Bills that are disputed between the ruling and opposition parties do not get passed/are delayed, or (B) The ruling and opposition parties hold policy consultations/the Diet is revitalized?

Generally (A) 40.7%
Generally (B) 48.9%
Do not know; No answer 10.4%

 

Q22. Do you think the vote that a citizen casts is reflected in actual politics?

Yes 28.8%
No 67.1%
Do not know; No answer 4.0%

 

SQ1. [For those who answered “No” to Q22]

Please select up to three reasons as to why you think a vote is not reflected in actual politics.

Parties/politicians do not keep their promises 43.8%
Policy citizens hope for is not made 54.0%
Politics do not get better 34.9%
People’s lives do not get better 57.7%
The Prime Minister is not elected 14.9%
There are problems with the election system 13.0%
People vote based on their mood 21.6%
Other 0.4%
Do not know; No answer 0.5%

 

Q23. Do you want to participate in politics any way or not? Please select as many from the following as apply.

Vote in elections 76.2%
Observe the Diet/make a petition 9.5%
Participate in a citizens’ group that monitors politics 9.5%
Attend a party or politician’s lecture/rally 11.6%
Volunteer for/donate to a party or politician 4.0%
Join a politician’s support group 4.4%
Be active as a party member 1.9%
Do political activities/run for office 1.0%
Other 0.1%
Do not know; No answer 19.2%

 

Q24. Do you think Japanese politics will proceed in a positive direction or in a negative direction?

Positive direction 10.0%
Generally positive direction 35.6%
Generally negative direction 34.6%
Negative direction 10.3%
Do not know; No answer 9.5%

 

Q25. Since 2003, municipal mergers and incorporations have been ongoing; there are now approximately 1,800 municipalities, down from roughly 3,200. Do you support or are you against more municipal mergers?

Support 16.3%
Generally support 25.1%
Generally against 27.1%
Against 22.0%
Do not know; No answer 9.4%

 

Q26. Compared to before the municipal mergers were carried out, what is your impression of municipal governments nationwide? Please respond on the next two points.

SQ1. Do you think that waste has been reduced in the country’s municipal governments?

Yes 14.3%
Generally yes 27.2%
Generally no 23.7%
No 24.8%
Do not know; No answer 10.0%

 

SQ2. Do you think that municipal resident services have improved?

Yes 5.9%
Generally yes 18.6%
Generally no 31.1%
No 32.1%
Do not know; No answer 12.3%

 

Sports

Q27. Recently, many sports are broadcast live on television. What kind of sports do you like to watch? Please select as many from the following as apply.

Professional baseball 48.1%
American professional baseball 14.6%
High school baseball 35.5%
College baseball 2.1%
Professional soccer 25.1%
Foreign professional soccer 6.4%
High school soccer 7.3%
Rugby 4.1%
American football 1.4%
Volleyball 21.8%
Basketball 3.2%
Handball 1.3%
Tennis 6.4%
Badminton 1.4%
Table tennis 4.8%
Sumo 28.1%
Judo 11.1%
Kendo 2.7%
Golf 18.1%
Marathons 36.0%
Marathon relays 28.0%
Track and field 7.6%
(Synchronized) Swimming 11.6%
(Rhythmic) Gymnastics 7.5%
Boxing 11.3%
Professional wrestling 4.0%
Fighting (K1, etc.) 12.5%
Skiing 5.4%
Snowboarding 2.1%
Skating 21.0%
Car racing (F1, etc.) 6.3%
Motorcycle racing 2.0%
Bicycle racing 1.7%
Other 0.3%
Nothing in particular 10.3%
Do not know; No answer 0.3%

 

Q28. Please give the names of up to three athletes you like.  They may be pro or amateur, Japanese or foreign, but cannot be a team.

Top 10

Rank/Athlete Name Responses Percent
1. Ichiro 255 14.7%
2. Mao Asada 167 9.6%
3. Hideki Matsui 126 7.3%
4. DaisukeMatsuzaka 64 3.7%
5.Hakuho 57 3.3%
6. Ryo Ishikawa 47 2.7%
7.MomokuUeda 44 2.5%
8. Miki Ando 39 2.2%
9. AiMiyazato 38 2.2%
10.Asashoryu 37 2.1%

 

Q29. In Japanese professional baseball, do you have a favorite team? Please select from one of the following as applicable.

Yomiuri Giants 24.2%
ChunichiDragons 5.1%
Hanshin Tigers 12.6%
Yokohama Bay Stars 1.5%
Hiroshima Toyo Carp 1.6%
Tokyo Yakult Swallows 1.6%
Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters 4.0%
ChibaLotteMarines 1.1%
FukuokaSoftBankHawks 5.7%
TohokuRakutenGolden Eagles 2.5%
Saitama Seibu Lions 0.9%
OrixBuffaloes 0.5%
Interested but do not have a favorite team 12.6%
Not interested in baseball 25.4%
Do not know; No answer 0.6%

 

SQ1. [For those who gave a team name in Q29]

Why did you like that team? Please select as many from the following as apply.

There is (was) a player I like 31.7%
Like the manager 19.2%
They are a good team 6.4%
They are a popular team 6.5%
It’s my hometown’s team 28.7%
The team has tradition 16.1%
It is a team I liked from a long time ago 35.9%
My family/friends like the team 11.3%
Other; Do not know; No answer 3.5%

 

Q30. In Japanese professional baseball this year, what are you focusing on or anticipating? Please select up to three from the following.

Chunichitwo-year consecutive win and Japan title 8.0%
Nippon Ham winning the Japan title 5.5%
Giants winning the Japan title 22.0%
Another team winning the league or Japan title 15.5%
Performance of new players 29.0%
Performance of young players 18.1%
Performance of mid- and veteran players 10.7%
Performance of foreign players 1.5%
Managers’ direction 16.3%
Other; Do not know; No answer 31.0%

 

Q31. On August 8, the Olympics will begin in Beijing.  Are you interested in the Beijing Olympics or not?

Greatly interested 33.6%
Somewhat interested 40.3%
Not very interested 18.2%
Not interested at all 7.6%
Do not know; No answer 0.3%

 

Q32. If you expect Japanese athletes to win a medal in any events in the Beijing Olympics, which are they? Please respond for men and women each.

SQ1. If you anticipate a medal for the men, please select as many events from the following which you think apply.

Marathon 19.1%
Track and field 9.4%
Swimming 28.5%
Soccer 11.1%
Boxing 1.3%
Volleyball 3.5%
Gymnastics 24.0%
Trampoline 2.2%
Wrestling 5.7%
Cycling 1.4%
Table tennis 2.2%
Judo 45.8%
Archery 2.3%
Baseball 47.1%
Other 0.6%
Nothing in particular; Do not know; No answer 17.1%

 

SQ2. If you anticipate a medal for the women, please select as many events from the following which you think apply.

Marathon 60.4%
Track and field 4.1%
Swimming 11.6%
Synchronized swimming 24.2%
Soccer 3.2%
Tennis 1.3%
Volleyball 11.0%
Beach volleyball 4.6%
Gymnastics 5.0%
Rhythmic gymnastics 4.6%
Trampoline 1.1%
Wrestling 17.8%
Table tennis 11.8%
Judo 41.6%
Softball 18.5%
Badminton 4.3%
Other
Nothing in particular; Do not know; No answer 16.4%

 

Q33. Tokyo is a candidate city to host the 2016 Olympics. Do you support or are you against the Olympics being held in Tokyo?

Support 43.2%
Generally support 28.7%
Generally against 10.6%
Against 12.3%
Do not know; No answer 5.2%

 

Q34. To raise players who can compete on an international level, what kind of things do you think the country should do? Please select up to three from the following.

Enhance training facilities 44.7%
Enhance athletic activities 19.5%
Economic support of athletes 49.1%
Developmentof trainers 43.8%
Invitation of foreign trainers 6.6%
Scouting young talent 36.3%
Increase the number of athletes 17.4%
Other 0.3%
Nothing in particular 6.9%
Do not know; No answer 2.3%

 

Fundamental Characteristics of the Survey Sample

Regional Distribution

Hokkaido, Tohoku 12.1%
Kanto 29.1%
Chubu 19.7%
Kinki 18.6%
Chugoku, Shikoku 8.5%
Kyushu 12.0%

 

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) 25.0%
Small cities (cities with population under 100,000) 23.6%
Towns and villages 11.1%

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

 

Gender Distribution

Male 48.5%
Female 51.5%

 

Age Distribution (in years)

20-24 4.6%
25-29 3.7%
30-34 6.6%
35-39 7.3%
40-44 9.1%
45-49 7.7%
50-54 8.7%
55-59 10.8%
60-69 23.5%
Over 70 years old 18.0%

 

Educational Background

Elementary/middle-school graduate 14.0%
High-school student or graduate 51.4%
College/junior-college student or graduate 33.1%
Do not know; No answer 1.5%

 

Occupational Background

[Self-employed] 11.0%
[Salaried worker] 43.3%
[Other] 45.8%
Agriculture/Forestry/Fishing 2.6%
Business/Industry/Service 6.6%
Freelance Professional 1.7%
Management/Professional 6.1%
Office worker/Skill industry 16.7%
Labor/Service 20.5%
Housewife 23.6%
Domestic woman other than a housewife 4.2%
Student 1.8%
Other; Unemployed; No answer 16.2%

 

Household Annual Income (in Japanese yen)

Below 2 million 10.8%
In between 2 and 4 million 25.1%
In between 4 and 6 million 22.5%
In between 6 and 8 million 13.9%
In between 8 and 10 million 6.8%
Over 10 million 4.8%
Do not know; No answer 16.0%

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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