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57% back security legislation, cabinet support inches up to 52%

  • 2015-02-24 15:00:00
  • , Sankei
  • Translation

(Sankei: February 24, 2015 – p. 1)

 

 The Sankei Shimbun and Fuji News Network (FNN) jointly conducted a public opinion survey across the nation on Feb. 21-22. In the survey, respondents were asked whether they approve of the government’s plan to submit a package of security-related legislative measures to the Diet during the current session allowing Japan to exercise the right of collective self-defense. In the breakdown of answers to this question, affirmative answers substantially outnumbered negative ones, with “yes” accounting for a total of 57.7% and “no” for a total of 32.6%. The rate of public support for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his cabinet was 52.8%, showing a slight increase of 1.4 percentage points from the last survey conducted Jan. 24-25. The Abe cabinet’s support rate rose for the third month in a row.

 

 Concerning security legislation, the government mulls ways for the Self-Defense Forces to defend not only U.S. forces but also other foreign forces under so-called “gray-zone situations” that stop short of actual attacks on Japan by foreign forces. In response to this question, a total of 38.0% answered in the affirmative, with a total of 49.0% in the negative. Meanwhile, respondents were also asked whether they approve of creating a permanent law allowing Japan to send SDF troops overseas at all times in order to back up multinational forces and other entities. To this question, affirmative answers accounted for 20.5%, while those calling for enacting a time-limited special measures law whenever necessary accounted for a total of 72.8%.

 

 Respondents were also asked whether they think the government responded appropriately to the recent hostage incident in which two Japanese nationals were taken hostage by the “Islamic State,” a group of Sunni extremist radicals. To this question, “yes” accounted for a total of 55.2% and “no” for a total of 33.6%.

 

 Prime Minister Abe will release a statement this summer to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the war’s end. In this regard, respondents were asked whether they think he should use such expressions as “aggression,” “remorse,” and “apologies” that were used by Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama in his statement released in 1995. To this question, “yes” accounted for 51.6% and “no” for 36.6%.

 

 The Central Union of Agricultural Cooperatives, “JA-Zenchu” for short, is a nationwide farm organization authorized to audit and control local agricultural cooperatives. The government is now set to restructure the nation’s agricultural cooperatives through such steps as abolishing JA-Zenchu’s oversight authority. In the survey, respondents were asked whether they approve of this agricultural reform initiative. To this question, affirmative answers substantially exceeded negative ones, with “yes” at 62.5% and “no” at 21.5%.

 

 In the breakdown of public support for political parties, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party of Japan stood at 41.2%, up 1.8 points from the last survey. The leading opposition Democratic Party of Japan, now under Katsuya Okada as its new president, was at 9.9%, falling below 10% again. The Japanese Communist Party, which scored 5.7% after last year’s election for the House of Representatives, dropped to 3.7%.

 


 

 

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