(Mainichi: March 16, 2015—p. 2)
The Mainichi Shimbun conducted a nationwide public opinion survey on March 14-15. A government-sponsored package of security-related legislative measures, including a bill allowing Japan to exercise the right of collective self-defense, is now before the Diet for deliberation, and the government plans to have the security legislation get through the Diet during the current session. In the survey, respondents were asked about this government plan. In response to this question, a total of 52% disapproved of the proposed security legislation, with a total of 34% approving of it. Meanwhile, respondents were also asked whether they know what’s being discussed about the security legislation. To this question, “yes” accounted for a total of 56% and “no” for a total of 38%. The survey results show that the public is not well aware of the government’s explanation.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will release a statement this year to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the war’s end. In this regard, respondents were asked whether they think Abe should incorporate in his statement the wording “colonial rule and aggression,” which was used by Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama in his statement that reflected on and apologized for the past war. To this question, “yes” accounted for a total of 46% and “no” for a total of 35%. Among those in support of the Abe cabinet, “yes” accounted for 40% and “no” for 44%. Among those who don’t support the Abe cabinet, “yes” was at 61% and “no” at 24%. “No” outnumbered “yes” among those supporting the Abe cabinet, which will likely affect the prime minister’s judgment.
The Abe cabinet’s support rate was 44%, the same as in the last survey conducted in January. The nonsupport rate was 34%, down 2 percentage points from the last survey. (Abridged)