Yomiuri Shimbun November 2007 Opinion Polls (07-37)

Key Issues
  • Evaluation of the Fukuda administration/Cabinet
  • Resumption of Maritime Self Defense Forces refueling activities
  • Pension system/reform
  • “Politics and money” issue
Dates Conducted

November 10 and 11, 2007

Methodology

Yomiuri conducted the poll in individual interviews on November 10 and 11, 2007, using a stratified two-stage random sample of 3,000 voters in 250 different locations. 1,810 people, or 60.3% of those selected, responded.

 

Survey

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

Support 52.2% (59.1)
Do not support 36.0% (26.7)
Other 3.3% (3.1)
Do not know; No answer 8.6% (11.2)

Figures in parentheses are results from polls conducted in October 2007

 

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

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

Positively evaluate its political stance 28.0% (25.3)
Feel that it is stable 37.6% (43.7)
Can trust the Prime Minister 28.6% (28.5)
Positively evaluate its economic policies 7.1% (8.0)
Positively evaluate its foreign policy 6.6% (8.6)
It is a coalition between the Liberal Democratic Party and the Komeito Party 7.4% (6.5)
Fukuda is an LDP Prime Minister 19.7% (13.2)
It is better than previous cabinets 19.4% (19.2)
Other; Do not know; No answer 4.3% (5.4)

Figures in parentheses are results from polls conducted in October 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 Fukuda cabinet.

Cannot positively evaluate its political stance 31.2% (28.8)
Do not feel that the cabinet is stable 25.2% (25.7)
Cannot trust the Prime Minister 21.0% (23.6)
Cannot support the administration’s economic policies 29.3% (26.9)
Cannot support the administration’s foreign policy 12.1% (12.0)
It is a coalition between the Liberal Democratic Party and the Komeito Party 19.5% (20.1)
Fukuda is an LDP Prime Minister 13.2%(14.7)
It is worse than previous cabinets 4.9% (4.8)
Other; Do not know; No answer 4.8% (5.8)

Figures in parentheses are results from polls conducted in October 2007

 

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

Economic conditions/job security 55.2% (51.1)
Fiscal reconstruction 19.4% (20.5)
Tax reform and the issue of the consumption tax 31.0% (31.5)
Social security reform, including pensions and healthcare 60.7% (66.0)
Support for child care and countermeasures for declining birthrates 27.0% (26.8)
Education reform 19.1% (18.2)
Problems of income disparities 25.7% (22.6)
Administrative reform, such as cutting back the number of government employees 18.3% (16.3)
Politics and money issues 35.4% (35.0)
Foreign policy toward Asia, including China and South Korea 10.5% (14.1)
Issues with North Korea 20.4% (26.5)
National defense and security 13.7% (12.9)
Constitutionalrevision 5.5% (5.6)
Disaster prevention and crisis management 8.2% (8.7)
Public safety and crime prevention 17.3% (18.4)
Environmental protection 19.8% (21.3)
Food safety 27.2% (22.6)
Other; Nothing special; Do not know; No answer 3.3% (2.9)

Figures in parentheses are results from polls conducted in October 2007

 

Q3. How long do you want the Fukuda Cabinet to continue? Please select one from the list of responses.

As long as possible 25.3% (32.3)
2 or 3 years 25.0% (25.3)
About 1 year 22.4% (18.7)
About half a year 9.1% ( 7.3)
Want resignation as soon as possible 12.3% ( 8.8)
Other 1.8% ( 0.4)
Do not know; No answer 4.1% ( 7.2)

Figures in parentheses are results from polls conducted in October 2007

Q4. Which political party do you currently support? Please select one:

Liberal Democratic Party 34.3% (37.8)
Democratic Party of Japan 22.5% (18.0)
Komeito Party 2.7% (2.9)
Japan Communist Party 2.3% (2.5)
Social Democratic Party of Japan 1.1% (0.9)
The New People’s Party 0.2%(—)
The New Party Nippon 0.2% (0.1)
Other 0.1%(—)
Do not support any party 36.0% (36.9)
Do not know; No answer 0.6% (0.8)

Figures in parentheses are results from polls conducted in October 2007

 

Q5. Japan’s Maritime Self Defense Force vessels were sent to the Indian Ocean to carry out refueling activities in support of the multinational army fighting the war on terror in Afghanistan. However, the law permitting this activity expired on November 1, and their mission was brought to an end. Do you approve or are you against the continuation of the Maritime Self Defense Force refueling activities?

Approve 50.6%
Against 40.3%
Do not know; No answer 9.2%

SQ1. [For those who answered “Support” to Q5 only]

Please select as many from the follow as apply as to your reason for approval.

Japan should also participate in the war against terrorism 24.3%
Activities up until now have been received well internationally 45.5%
The activities are necessary to maintain good relations with the U.S. 36.9%
The stability of the Indian Ocean is important to Japan, which uses the ocean in importing oil 35.1%
It is a relatively safe activity 15.3%
Other 1.0%
Do not know; No answer 1.3%

 

SQ2. [For those who answered “Against” to Q5 only]

Please select as many from the follow as apply as to your reason for your disapproval.

The activityviolates the Constitution 26.6%
The supplied fuel may have been diverted for use in the Iraq War 47.2%
Japan does not need to comply with the U.S.’ demands 42.1%
Japan should cooperate in another area, like civilian support 35.0%
There have been several instances of misconduct in the Ministry of Defense 19.5%
Other 4.4%
Do not know; No answer 0.8%

 

Q6.To continue the Maritime Self Defense Force refueling activities, the government has submitted a new bill to the Diet that limits MSDF activities to supplying fuel and water; these activities can then be renewed for one-year periods without Diet approval. Do you support this bill or not?

Support 48.7%
Against 38.8 %
Do not know; No answer 12.5 %

 

Q7. If the refueling activities do not resume, do you think Japan’s international reputation would improve, worsen, or not change?

Improve 4.2%
Worsen 51.2%
Would not change 38.8
Do not know; No answer 5.8%

 

Q8. In the recent meeting between party leaders, Prime Minister Fukuda and Democratic Party of Japan leader Ozawa talked about creating a Grand Coalition between the LDP and the DPJ to break through the current political impasse between the ruling and opposition parties. However, the DPJ did not accept this. Do you think it would be good for the LDP and the DPJ to create a coalition government; to hold policy negotiations by individual issue; or do you think there is no need to cooperate at all?

Create a coalition government 12.0%
Hold policy negotiations on each issue 65.7%
No need to cooperate 16.7%
Do not know; No answer 5.6%

 

Q9. DPJ leader Ozawa offered to resign as party head to take responsibility for creating confusion within the DJP over his talks with Prime Minister Fukuda about creating a Grand Coalition. He later retracted his resignation and decided to stay on as party head. Do you find Ozawa’s decision to stay on acceptable or not?

Acceptable 35.7%
Not acceptable 56.4%
Do not know; No answer 7.9%

 

Q10. Do you think the Democratic Party of Japan has the capacity to govern or not?

Yes 32.4%
No 58.1%
Do not know; No answer 9.5%

 

National, Employee, and Mutual Pensions

Q11. Overall, do you have confidence in the national pension system or not?

Yes 12.7%
Generally yes 20.2%
Generally no 25.4%
No 40.7%
Do not know; No answer 1.0%

 

Q12. If there is anything you are dissatisfied with about the national pension system, please choose as many from the following as apply.

Insurance fees are expensive 29.7%
Amount of pension is low 40.5%
Age at which pension payments begin is high 22.3%
Depending on one’s generation, insurance fees and pension amount differs 19.9%
Do not know how much pension will be provided in the future 36.9%
Pension records have gone missing 41.9%
Pension funds have been misappropriated 45.6%
Insurance fees are being used for things other than pensions 43.3%
There are people who do not pay their national pension fees 29.4%
The system is hard to understand 25.2%
Other 1.1%
Nothing in particular 3.4%
Do not know; No answer 0.5%

 

Q13. If you were to live your post-retirement years as a husband-and-wife couple, what is the smallest amount of money per month you could live on? Please choose one from the following.

More than 11,000 yen 1.3%
More than 21,500 yen 10.0%
More than 32,000 yen 29.1%
More than 42,500 yen 25.4%
More than 53,000 yen 23.6%
More than 63,500 yen 5.6%
More than 74,000 yen 3.0%
More than 84,500 yen 0.4%
More than 95,000 yen 0.3%
Other;Do not know; No answer 1.4%

 

Q14. In your post-retirement years, to what degree do you want to rely on national pensions? Please choose one from the following.

Have all living expenses covered 24.8% (23.2)
Have most of living expenses covered 41.8% (39.1)
About half pension and half other income 20.1% (18.0)
Mainly rely on other income, using pension for only part of living expenses 6.9% ( 9.0)
Keep pension only as pocket money 3.7% ( 6.5)
Not rely at all on pension 1.5%( 3.1)
Other 0.1%( 0.1)
Do not know; No answer 1.2% ( 1.1)

Figures in parentheses are results from polls conducted in October 2007

Q15. In your post-retirement years, do you have anything you can rely on besides national pension? If so, please select as many as apply from the following.

Deposits and savings 56.4%
Retirement benefits/corporate pension 31.0%
Private pension 10.9%
Property rent, house rent, dividends 5.5%
Real estate 3.9%
Support from family/children 8.7%
Plan to work for money 23.3%
Other 0.2%
Nothing in particular 17.1%
Do not know; No answer 0.8%

 

Q16. To maintain pensions and the social security system more generally, some are of the opinion that a tax raise is unavoidable.  Do you a tax raise is unavoidable or not?

Yes 24.4%
Generally yes 25.3%
Generally no 16.6%
No 31.5%
Do not know; No answer 2.2%

 

Q17. In the social security-related budget, a larger proportion is allocated to elderly people while a smaller proportion is allocated to the next generation in items such as child-raising assistance. Do you think the budget for child-raising assistance should be increased, even if that means lowering the budget for the elderly?

Yes 21.8%
Generally yes 23.6%
Generally no 20.3%
No 25.7%
Do not know; no answer 8.6%

 

Q18. Currently, a housewife in a corporate employee’s household is exempt from paying national pension premiums. Do you think this scheme is fine as is or needs reform?

Fine as is 54.2% (49.0)
Needs reform 39.3% (44.7)
Do not know;No answer 6.5% ( 6.2)

Figures in parentheses are results from polls conducted in October 2007

Q19. In terms of the relationship between an individual’s taxes/insurance fees and the future of the social security system, which of the following two opinions is closest to your way of thinking?

To maintain the level of social security, it is permissible for taxes/insurance fees rise 31.7%
Taxes/insurance fees should not be allowed to increase, even if the level of social security decreases 29.3%
Cannot say either way 37.5%
Do not know; No answer 1.5%

 

Q20. In the missing pension records issue, the government is taking measures to complete investigations of the 50 million missing records by March of next year. Do you think these government measures will bring the missing pension records issue to a resolution or not?

Yes 24.9%
No 72.2%
Do not know; No answer 3.0%

 

Q21. Concerning the payment of basic pension, which all pensioners receive, there are two opinions: A) maintain the current system, where insurance premiums are the major source of revenue and people who have made payments can receive pension or B) make consumption tax and other taxes the only source of revenue and shift to a system where all citizens can receive pension benefits. Which opinion is closest to your way of thinking?

Opinion A 49.3%
Generally Opinion A 19.0%
Generally Opinion B 11.1%
Opinion B 14.7%
Do not know; No answer 5.9%

 

Q22. If you think there is a political party that is actively tackling the issue of the national pension system, please select as many from the following as apply.

Liberal Democratic Party 22.0%
Democratic Party of Japan 31.7%
Komeito Party 5.3%
Japan Communist Party 5.7%
Social Democratic Party of Japan 4.3%
The New People’s Party 0.8%
New Party Nippon 0.8%
Other party
None in particular 45.2%
Do not know; No answer 3.6%

 

Q23. What pension plan are you currently enrolled in? Please choose one from the following.

National pension plan (self-employed, wives of corporate employees, students over 20 years old, etc.) 39.6%
Employee pension plan (salaried workers in private sector) 44.9%
Mutual aid pension plan (government employees, teachers, organization workers) 7.6%
Not enrolled 7.0%
Do not know; No answer 0.9%

 

Politics and Money

Q24. There have been a series of scandals over “politics and money.” Please choose one from the following that most closely expresses your feelings about this.

Feel indignant 29.4%
Am fed up 31.2%
This is the way all politicians are 16.9%
It cannot be helped as politics costs too much money 2.5%
Preventative measures must be taken ASAP 17.3%
Other 0.6%
Nothing in particular 1.6%
Do not know; No answer 0.6%

 

Q25. What do you think the underlying reason is that “politics and money” problems do not go away? Please choose as many from the following as apply.

It costs money to do political activities 27.6%
Politicians have low morals 68.1%
There are loopholes/deficiencies in the law 40.7%
Voters have low awareness 20.8%
Law enforcement authority investigations are insufficient 19.9%
Disclosure of information is insufficient 28.2%
Other 0.8%
Do not know; No answer 1.7%

 

Q26.

S1. If you think there is a political party that is actively tackling the issue of “politics and money,” please select as many from the following as apply.

Liberal Democratic Party 7.6%
Democratic Party of Japan 21.3%
Komeito Party 4.2%
Japan Communist Party 16.1%
Social Democratic Party of Japan 6.9%
The New People’s Party 0.8%
Other party 0.1%
None in particular 54.9%
Do not know; No answer 4.7%

 

S2. Conversely, if you think there is a political party that is not actively tackling the issue of “politics and money,” please select as many from the following as apply from the same list.

Liberal Democratic Party 41.5%
Democratic Party of Japan 8.9%
Komeito Party 8.4%
Japan Communist Party 4.3%
Social Democratic Party of Japan 4.1%
The New People’s Party 3.1%
Other party
None in particular 44.7%
Do not know; No answer 7.1%

 

Q27. On income and expenditure reports on political funds, there are two opinions: A) to make accounts transparent, receipts for all expenditures one yen and over should be disclosed or B) the expenditures to be disclosed should start from a larger amount, as otherwise clerical work and resulting costs will increase. Which opinion is closest to your way of thinking?

Opinion A 48.7%
Generally Opinion A 15.7%
Generally Opinion B 15.1%
Opinion B 16.9%
Do not know; No answer 3.6%

 

Q28. Do you agree that if a politician is working very hard, the fact that some costs are incurred is something that cannot be helped?

Agree 58.8%
Disagree 38.7%
Do not know; No answer 2.5%

 

Q29. On political funds/asset reports, do you think the way a politician takes responsibility for a simple mistake in filling out the forms should be differentiated from a purposeful inaccuracy?

Yes 70.2%
No 26.2%
Do not know; No answer 3.6%

 

Q30. At present, the government pays a total of more than 30 billion yen annually to the six political parties as party subsidies. Do you think these subsidies are being used effectively or not?

Yes 5.6%
No 86.5%
Do not know; No answer 7.9%

 

Q31. Do you think you would like to donate money to a political party/politician or purchase a party fundraising ticket or not?

Yes 4.3%
No 92.4%
Do not know; No answer 3.3%

 

SQ. [For those who answered “No” to Q31 only]

Please select as many as apply from the following as to why you do not want to donate money to a political party/politician or purchase a party fundraising ticket.

There is no party/politician I want to donate to 30.9%
I would get nothing in return 18.4%
It would not be used effectively 54.9%
There is no tax incentive for donations, etc. 5.5%
Do not have the extra money 41.2%
Do not know how to donate 9.7%
Enough is donated by corporations, etc. 8.5%
Parties receive subsidies from taxes 31.4%
Other; Nothing in particular;Do not know; No answer 4.6%

 

Fundamental Characteristics of the Survey Sample

Regional Distribution

Hokkaido, Tohoku 12.4%
Kanto 30.0%
Chubu 19.3%
Kinki 17.8%
Chugoku, Shikoku 8.8%
Kyushu 11.7%

 

City Scale

Large metropolitan areas (Tokyo’s 23 wards and ordinance-designated cities) 23.3%
Large mid-sized cities (cities with population over 300,000) 17.7%
Mid-sized cities (cities with population over 100,000) 24.3%
Small cities (cities with population under 100,000) 22.9%
Towns and villages 11.8%

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

 

Gender Distribution

Male 49.8%
Female 50.2%

 

Age Distribution (in years)

20-24 4.3%
25-29 5.4%
30-34 7.3%
35-39 9.1%
40-44 8.2%
45-49 8.8%
50-54 9.1%
55-59 11.3%
60-69 20.5%
Over 70 years old 16.0%

 

Educational Background

Elementary/middle-school graduate 13.4%
High-school student or graduate 49.9%
College/junior-college student or graduate 36.1%
Do not know; No answer 0.6%

 

Occupational Background

[Self-employed] 14.2%
[Salaried worker] 46.0%
[Other] 39.8%
Agriculture/Forestry/Fishing 3.6%
Business/Industry/Service 9.1%
Freelance Professional 1.4%
Management/Professional 4.8%
Office worker/Skill industry 18.9%
Labor/Service 22.4%
Housewife 20.5%
Domestic woman other than a housewife 3.8%
Student 1.3%
Other; Unemployed; No answer 14.3%

 

Household Annual Income (in Japanese yen)

Below 2 million 11.5%
In between 2 and 4 million 24.3%
In between 4 and 6 million 23.7%
In between 6 and 8 million 13.8%
In between 8 and 10 million 5.7%
Over 10 million 5.9%
Do not know; No answer 15.1%

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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