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50% back “Murayama statement”

  • 2015-01-20 15:00:00
  • , Mainichi
  • Translation

(Mainichi: January 19, 2015 – p. 1)


 The Mainichi Shimbun conducted a nationwide public opinion survey on Jan. 17-18. In the survey, respondents were asked about Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s pledge to maintain the stance of Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama’s statement released in 1955 to reflect on and apologize for Japan’s colonial rule and aggression in the past. In response to this question, affirmative answers outnumbered negative ones, with a total of 50% saying he should do so and a total of 34% saying he does not have to do so. Abe will release a statement this year to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of the war. In this regard, the survey results show that the public strongly wants Abe to follow the direction of the Murayama statement and Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s statement (released in 2005).


 In his New Year’s remarks on Jan. 5, Abe vowed to uphold the general stance of his predecessors concerning historical perception. Abe indicated that in his statement 70 years after the end of the war, he would incorporate the following points: 1) Japan’s self-reflection on the war; 2) Japan’s path as a peace-loving nation; and 3) Japan’s contributions to the Asia-Pacific region and the world from now on.


 Meanwhile, respondents were asked whether they think the public’s understanding of constitutional revision has deepened. To this question, “no” accounted for a total of 76%, with “yes” for a total of only 17%. Abe notes that obtaining a concurring vote of more than half in a national referendum is “the most important point” for constitutional revision. However, the survey results show that few people think there is an urgent need to amend Japan’s constitution.


 Abe will bring a package of security-related legislative measures before the Diet at the upcoming ordinary session. In this regard, respondents were asked whether they approve of allowing Japan to exercise the right of collective self-defense. To this question, a total of 50% answered in the negative, with a total of 37% in the affirmative. Kyushu Electric Power Co. is expected to be allowed to restart currently offline nuclear reactors this spring at its Sendai Nuclear Power Plant complex in Satsumasendai, Kagoshima Prefecture. Respondents were asked whether they approve of resuming operations at the nuclear power plant. To this question, “no” accounted for a total of 54% and “yes” for a total of 36%. Public support for the Abe administration has not increased with regard to the government’s most pressing tasks.


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