Yomiuri Shimbun June 2007 Opinion Poll (07-33)

Key Issues
  • Performance of the Abe administration
  • Pension records scandal
  • National politics/House of Councilors election
  • Doctor shortage
  • Medical/healthcare infrastructure
Dates Conducted

June 16 and 17, 2007

Methodology

Yomiuri conducted the poll in individual interviews on June 16 and 17, 2007, using a stratified two-stage random sample of 3,000 voters in 250 different locations. 1,837 people, or 61.2% of those selected, responded.

 

Survey

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

Support 38.3% (49.6)
Do not support 50.6% (36.8)
Other 2.8% (3.5)
Do not know; No answer 8.3% (10.1)

Figures in parentheses are results from polls conducted in May 2007

 

SQ1. [Those who answered “support” to Q1 only]

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

Positively evaluate its political stance 30.8% (33.4)
Feel that it is stable 11.8% (14.9)
Can trust the Prime Minister 23.2% (23.2)
Have a fresh image of the Prime Minister 34.8% (40.2)
Can support its economic policies 4.8% (6.2)
Can support its foreign policy 15.2% (15.2)
It is a coalition between the Liberal Democratic Party and the Komeito Party 14.8% (10.7)
It is better than previous cabinets 11.9% (10.1)
Other; Do not know; No answer 7.2% (4.8)

Figures in parentheses are results from polls conducted in May 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 45.9% (43.1)
Do not feel that the cabinet is stable 34.4% (24.9)
Cannot trust the Prime Minister 25.3% (25.2)
The Prime Minister’s political experience is lacking 14.4% (16.7)
Cannot support the administration’s economic policies 22.9% (21.9)
Cannot support the administration’s foreign policy 6.8% (13.9)
It is a coalition between the Liberal Democratic Party and the Komeito Party 11.3% (14.2)
It is worse than previous cabinets 10.0% (7.5)
Other; Do not know; No answer 3.9% (3.8)

Figures in parentheses are results from polls conducted in May 2007

 

Q2. Which political party do you support right now? Please select one:

Liberal Democratic Party 32.9% (38.5)
Democratic Party of Japan 14.3% (11.1)
Komeito Party 4.0% (3.3)
Japan Communist Party 2.4% (1.8)
Social Democratic Party of Japan 1.2% (0.9)
The New People’s Party 0.2% (0.3)
The New Party Nippon —–(0.1)
Other —–(——)
Do not support any party 44.4% (42.4)
Do not know; No answer 0.7% (1.6)

Figures in parentheses are results from polls conducted in May 2007

 

Q3 Overall, do you positively evaluate the performance of the Abe cabinet to date, or not?

Evaluate very positively 6.3%
Evaluate somewhat positively 36.3%
Do not really evaluate positively 37.2%
Do not evaluate positively at all 16.7%
Do not know; No answer 3.4%

 

Q4. From the following list, please select the accomplishments of and measures taken by Prime Minister Abe and the Abe cabinet that you can evaluate positively, if any. Please select as many as you like.

Relationship with the United States 9.5%
Relationship with China 14.7%
Relationship with South Korea 5.8%
Measures to address issues with North Korea 31.1%
Educational-reform measures, including amendment of the FundamentalLaw of Education 15.3%
Measures to address the income gap and other disparities 4.4%
Measures to address the pensions problem 12.7%
Measures to address Constitutional reform, includingpassage of the National Referendum Act 6.8%
Civil-service system reform, including establishment of the unified job-placement agency for bureaucrats 3.0%
Measures to deal with the “politics and money” issue involving former Minister of Agriculture Matsuoka 1.8%
Response to inappropriate remarks by Health Minister Yanazawa and other members of the cabinet 1.7%
Other 0.3%
Nothing in particular 38.3%
Do not know; No answer 1.7%

 

Q5 Conversely, from the same list, please select the accomplishments of and measures taken by Prime Minister Abe and the Abe cabinet that you cannot positively evaluate, if any. Please select as many as you like.

Relationship with the United States 8.4%
Relationship with China 7.2%
Relationship with South Korea 4.7%
Measures to address issues with North Korea 14.4%
Educational-reform measures, including amendment of the Fundamental Law of Education 13.5%
Measures to address the income gap and other disparities 25.0%
Measures to address the pensions problem 50.2%
Measures to address Constitutional reform, including passage of the National Referendum Act 10.1%
Civil-service system reform, including establishment of the unified job-placement agency for bureaucrats 9.0%
Measures to deal with the “politics and money” issue involving former Minister of Agriculture Matsuoka 49.0%
Response to inappropriate remarks by Health Minister Yanazawa and other members of the cabinet 32.1%
Other 0.5%
Nothing in particular 13.8%
Do not know; No answer 2.1%

 

Q6. Overall, do you have confidence in the national pension system, or not?

Have confidence 7.6% (6.4)
Have a certain degree of confidence 15.7% (21.0)
Do not have much confidence 26.8% (30.0)
Have no confidence 48.7% (41.3)
Do not know; No answer 1.3% (1.2)

Figures in parentheses are results from polls conducted in July 2004

 

Q7. Regarding the scandal over the misplaced pension records, the government has drafted new legislation that includes measures to compensate pensioners for the amount by which they were underpaid to date, and Prime Minister Abe has pledged to launch an investigation into the lost records of 50 million contributors to the system. Do you positively evaluate these steps taken by the government, or not?

Evaluate very positively 12.5%
Evaluate somewhat positively 33.9%
Do not really evaluate positively 27.7%
Do not evaluate positively at all 24.2%
Do not know; No answer 1.6%

 

Q8. Do you think that these measures taken by the government will provide the groundwork for a solution of the misplaced pension records, or not?

Yes 26.6%
No 66.8%
Do not know; No answer 6.5%

 

Q9. Viewing developments within the Diet and other venues concerning the pension-records scandal, which political party, if any, made a poor impression on you? Please select as many as you like from the following list.

Liberal Democratic Party 37.6%
Democratic Party of Japan 17.5%
Komeito Party 9.5%
Japan Communist Party 5.9%
Social Democratic Party of Japan 5.9%
The New People’s Party 2.7%
The New Party Nippon 2.2%
Other 0.2%
None in particular 46.8%
Do not know; No answer 3.9%

 

Q10. Are you satisfied or not satisfied with current national politics?

Very satisfied 1.5% (1.0)
Somewhat satisfied 19.8% (19.7)
Somewhat dissatisfied 46.7% (46.9)
Very dissatisfied 30.0% (30.8)
Do not know; No answer 2.1% (1.6)

Figures in parentheses are results from polls conducted in January 2007

 

Q11. Are you interested or not interested in the upcoming House of Councilors election?

Very interested 32.3% (25.3)
Somewhat interested 35.3% (30.8)
Not really interested 22.9% (31.6)
Not at all interested 8.9% (11.8)
Do not know; No answer 0.6% (0.5)

Figures in parentheses are results from polls conducted in June 2004

 

Q12. From the following list, please select all issues, if any, that you would like to see political parties and candidates address during the upcoming House of Councilors election.

Economic conditions/job security 40.6%
Fiscal reconstruction 16.2%
Tax reform and the consumption tax 27.8%
Social security, including pensions 65.4%
Support for child care and countermeasures for declining birthrates 28.1%
Education reform 22.3%
Administrative reform, including the civil-service system 19.6%
Politics and money 30.9%
Income gap and other disparities 29.3%
Yasukuni Shrine issue 6.0%
Issues with North Korea 21.3%
Foreign policy and national security 10.2%
Amendment of the Constitution 12.4%
Crisis management, including disaster prevention 7.9%
Public safety and crime prevention 17.1%
Environmental measures 20.4%
Food-safety measures 15.6%
Other; Nothing in particular; Do not know; No answer 5.0%

 

Q13. Do you think that issues you consider important will be a focus of this House of Councilors election, or not?

Yes 36.0%
Probably 29.6%
Probably not 14.3%
No 13.1%
Do not know; No answer 7.0%

 

Q14. In the House of Councilors election, which party’s candidate do you intend to vote for in your electoral district? Please select one from the following list.

Liberal Democratic Party 27.5%
Democratic Party of Japan 17.7%
Komeito Party 3.3%
Japan Communist Party 2.3%
Social Democratic Party of Japan 1.1%
The New People’s Party 0.3%
The New Party Nippon 0.2%
Other party ——
Independent 0.9%
Have not decided 45.7%
Do not know; No answer 0.9%

 

Q15. In the House of Councilors election this summer, which party’s candidate, or which party, do you intend to vote for in your proportional-representation block? Please select one from the following list.

Liberal Democratic Party 25.9% (33.9)
Democratic Party of Japan 17.6% (14.1)
Komeito Party 4.1% (3.3)
Japan Communist Party 2.6% (1.7)
Social Democratic Party of Japan 1.3% (0.9)
The New People’s Party 0.5% (0.4)
The New Party Nippon 0.2% (0.1)
Others —–(—–)
Have not decided 46.8% (44.3)
Do not know; No answer 1.1% (1.2)

Figures in parentheses are results from polls conducted in May 2007

 

Q16. This House of Councilors election will be the first national election for the Abe cabinet since it was inaugurated in September of last year. When you decide whom to vote for, will the performance of the Abe cabinet be a factor in your decision, or not?

Yes 55.5%
No 21.7%
Cannot say one way or the other 21.3%
Don’t know; No answer 1.5%

 

Q17. If, as a result of this House of Councilors election, the combined number of seats held by the ruling coalition of the LDP and Komeito, including those not up for re-election, failed to reach a majority in the House of Councilors, would you think that Prime Minister Abe should or should not take responsibility by resigning?

Should resign 41.4%
Not necessary to resign 35.3%
Cannot say either way 21.3%
Don’t know; No answer 2.0%

 

Q18. Next, if the number of seats held by the ruling coalition did not fall below a majority in the House of Councilors, would you think that DJP President Ozawa should or should not take responsibility by resigning his post?

Should resign 31.3%
Not necessary to resign 41.7%
Cannot say either way 25.0%
Don’t know; No answer 2.0%

 

Q19. The Diet is a bicameral legislative body, divided into the House of Representatives and the House of Councilors. Overall, do you think that the House of Councilors is able to maintain its individuality distinct from the House of Representatives, or not?

Yes 5.8%
Somewhat 12.0%
Not really 27.8%
No 44.2%
Don’t know; No answer 10.2%

 

Q20. In the House of Representatives election that took place under the Koizumi cabinet in September 2005, known as the “Japan Post privatization election,” which party did you vote for in your proportional-representation bloc? Please choose one from the following list.

Liberal Democratic Party 44.5%
Democratic Party of Japan 20.3%
Komeito Party 4.6%
Japan Communist Party 2.9%
Social Democratic Party of Japan 1.6%
The New People’s Party 0.5%
The New Party Nippon 0.1%
New Party Daichi 0.1%
Abstained 10.6%
Forgot; Did not have the right to vote; Do not know; No answer 15.0%

 

SQ1. [Those who did not answer “abstained” or “forgot; do not have the right to vote; do not know; no answer” to Q20 only]

When you decided on the party you voted for, was the political stance and personality of that party’s leader important to you, or not?

Was important 47.7%
Was somewhat important 25.0%
Was not really important 11.0%
Was not important 15.6%
Do not know; no answer 0.7%

 

Q21. When you decide how to vote in your proportional-representation bloc during this House of Councilors election, will the political stance and personality of the party’s leader be important to you, or not?

Will be important 42.5%
Will be somewhat important 27.2%
Will not really be important 11.5%
Will not be important 15.2%
Do not know; no answer 3.6%

 

Q22. Will you vote or not vote in this House of Councilors election? Please select one of the following.

Will definitely vote (including early voting) 58.8%
Intend to vote 32.9%
Will probably not vote 5.4%
Will not vote (abstain) 1.9%
Do not know; No answer 1.0%

 

SQ1. [Those who answered “will definitely vote” or “intend to vote” to Q22 only]

Do you intend to vote on the day of the election, or to vote early?

Day of the election 89.1%
Vote early 9.0%
Do not know; No answer 1.9%

 

Regional Health Administration

Q23. Are you satisfied or not with the medical care in the region in which you live?

Very satisfied 18.7%
Somewhat satisfied 46.7%
Somewhat dissatisfied 22.8%
Very dissatisfied 8.7%
Do not know; no answer 3.2%

 

Q24. Have you ever felt that there is a shortage of doctors in the region in which you live, or not?

Yes 31.0%
No 67.1%
Do not know; No answer 2.0%

 

SQ1. [Those who answered “yes” to Q24 only]

In particular, in which medical specialty have you felt that there is doctor shortage? Please select as many as you like from the following list.

Internal medicine 26.2%
Psychiatry 10.9%
Pediatrics 37.1%
Surgery 18.8%
Orthopedics 12.8%
Obstetrics and gynecology 42.7%
Ophthalmology and otolaryngology 33.0%
Dentistry 4.7%
Other; do not know; no answer 5.3%

 

Q25. In certain regions and medical specialties, a doctor shortage is becoming a problem. What do you think is the cause? Please select as many applicable causes, if any, as you like from the following list.

The work is too taxing 38.9%
Salary levels are not commensurate with the amount of work 22.8%
Central and local governments have not taken sufficient action to secure enough doctors 37.7%
Hospitals are trying to cut their personnel costs 20.1%
Many doctors prefer to live in convenient urban areas 40.2%
Many doctors fear being sued 24.8%
Other 1.6%
Nothing in particular 6.7%
Do not know; no answer 3.4%

 

Q26. The doctor shortage is a serious problem in obstetrics and pediatrics, which are said to be particularly demanding specialties. Do you think that reimbursement rates should be raised for obstetrics and pediatrics, in order to provide more favorable conditions than other specialties, or not?

Yes 37.0%
Probably 26.7%
Probably not 13.0%
No 18.2%
Do not know; no answer 5.2

 

Q27. It has been pointed out that doctors across the country tend to be concentrated in urban areas such as prefectural capital cities, with fewer and fewer working in rural towns and villages. Do you think that this disparity between the number of doctors in urban areas and rural areas is widening, or not?

Widening 60.6%
Probably widening 26.5%
Probably not widening 5.6%
Not widening 4.1%
Do not know; No answer 3.2%

 

Q28. In order to solve the doctor shortage, the government is considering establishing quotas in medical schools across the country for the number of graduates obligated to work in remote areas for a certain period of time after graduation. Do you think that the introduction of such a system would be a good idea, or not?

Good idea 50.8%
Probably a good idea 24.6%
Probably not a good idea 10.0%
Not a good idea 9.5%
Do not know; no answer 5.1%

 

Q29. The following questions are related to the medical infrastructure in your area.

S1. Do you think that the emergency-medical infrastructure in your area is solid, or not?

Yes 33.0%
Probably 34.1%
Probably not 14.3%
No 12.2%
Do not know; no answer 6.4%

 

S2. Do you think that the after-hours and weekend/vacation-day consultation hours are sufficient, or not?

Yes 26.7%
Probably 29.9%
Probably not 19.0%
No 16.1%
Do not know; no answer 8.4%

 

Q30. Do you have a regular doctor you can see for something like a slight cold or stomachache, or not?

Yes 73.5% (64.2)
No 25.9% (35.1)
Do not know; No answer 0.7% (0.7)

 Figures in parentheses are results from polls conducted in March 1992

 

Q31.  When you feel that something’s wrong with you physically, do you prefer to be seen first in a clinic or by a private practitioner nearby, or do you prefer to be seen first in a large hospital?

Nearby clinic or private practitioner 80.6%
Large hospital 17.7%
Do not know; No answer 1.6%

 

Q32. The government is considering adding a new “general medicine” category to the list of medical specialties such as internal medicine and surgery. A patient would be seen by a “general medicine” doctor and then referred to a specialist if necessary. Do you think the establishment of such a “general medicine” category is a good idea, or not?

Good idea 43.8%
Probably a good idea 23.8%
Probably not a good idea 12.4%
Not a good idea 14.2%
Do not know; No answer 5.8%

 

Fundamental Characteristics of the Survey Sample

Regional Distribution

Hokkaido, Tohoku 12.2%
Kanto 29.8%
Chubu 19.2%
Kinki 18.5%
Chugoku, Shikoku 9.0%
Kyushu 11.3%

 

City Scale

Large metropolitan areas (Tokyo’s 23 wards and ordinance-designated cities) 21.3%
Large mid-sized cities (cities with population over 300,000) 19.2%
Mid-sized cities (cities with population over 100,000) 24.7%
Small cities (cities with population under 100,000) 22.9%
Towns and villages 11.9%

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

 

Gender Distribution

Male 47.6%
Female 52.4%

 

Age Distribution (in years)

20-24 4.1%
25-29 4.5%
30-34 6.7%
35-39 7.9%
40-44 8.4%
45-49 8.1%
50-54 9.7%
55-59 12.7%
60-69 22.5%
Over 70 years old 15.4%

 

Educational Background

Elementary/middle-school graduate 16.2%
High-school student or graduate 47.3%
College/junior-college student or graduate 35.9%
Do not know; No answer 0.6%

 

Occupational Background

Agriculture/Forestry/Fishing 3.6%
Business/Industry/Service 9.6%
Self-employed 1.2%
Management/Professional 5.2%
Office worker/Skill industry 18.3%
Labor/Service 19.1%
Housewife 23.6%
Domestic woman other than a housewife 5.6%
Student 1.5%
Other; Unemployed; No answer 12.6%

 

Household Annual Income (in Japanese yen)

Below 2 million 12.0%
In between 2 and 4 million 21.6%
In between 4 and 6 million 23.4%
In between 6 and 8 million 13.8%
In between 8 and 10 million 6.8%
Over 10 million 5.8%
Do not know; No answer 16.7%

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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