(Yomiuri: April 6, 2015 – p. 1)
The Yomiuri Shimbun conducted a public opinion survey across the nation on April 3-5. In the survey, respondents were asked whether they approve of the Abe cabinet’s plan to relocate the U.S. military’s Futenma airfield in Okinawa Prefecture to the Henoko district of the prefecture’s northern coastal city of Nago. In the breakdown of answers to this question, public opinion was split, with “yes” accounting for a total of 41% and “no” also for a total of 41%. In this January’s survey as well, approval and disapproval were almost equal at 40% and 43%. The survey results seem to reflect the confrontation between the government and Okinawa Prefecture.
The Abe cabinet’s support rate was 57%, almost flat from the 55% rating in the last survey conducted March 6-8. The nonsupport rate was 35% (also 35% in the last survey).
The ruling Liberal Democratic Party of Japan and its coalition partner, the Komeito party, agreed on March 20 to legislate a package of new security-related legislative measures. In the survey, respondents were asked whether they approve of this security legislation. In response to this question, public opinion was split, with “yes” accounting for a total of 43% and “no” for a total of 47%. Respondents were also asked whether they approve of passing the new security legislation during the current Diet session. To this question, cautious opinions accounted for a majority of 53%, while affirmative answers accounted for a total of 32%. Respondents were further asked whether they think the government has provided sufficient explanations about the proposed security legislation. To this question, a total of 81% answered in the negative, indicating that the government and the ruling coalition need to provide even more thorough explanations.
Meanwhile, respondents were asked whether they approve of the Abe cabinet’s economic policy. To this question, “yes” accounted for a total of 50%, rising from 47% in the last survey. It reached the 50% level for the first time in six months since the survey conducted Oct. 3-5 last year.
In the breakdown of public support for political parties, the LDP stood at 41% (40% in the last survey), followed by the leading opposition Democratic Party of Japan at 7% (9% in the last survey), and the Komeito and the Japanese Communist Party both at 4%.