(Tokyo Shimbun: June 22, 2015—p. 1)
Kyodo News conducted a telephone-based public opinion survey across the nation on June 20-21. In the survey, respondents were asked whether they think the government-sponsored package of security-related legislative measures, now before the Diet, violates the Constitution of Japan. In response to this question, a total of 56% answered “yes,” with a total of 29.2% saying “no.” When asked whether they approve of this security legislation, “no” accounted for a total of 58.7%, up 11.1 percentage points from the last survey in May. In the meantime, “yes” accounted for a total of 27.8%. The Abe cabinet’s support rate was 47.4%, down 2.5 points from the last survey. The nonsupport rate was 43.0% (38.0% in the last survey).
The ruling and opposition parties are at odds over the security legislation. The Diet recently summoned constitutional law scholars to explain their views as unsworn witnesses on this security legislation. In this Diet summons, they all asserted that it is “unconstitutional.” In this regard, the survey results clearly showed that the general public doubts whether the legislation is constitutional.
In the survey, respondents were also asked whether they approve of passing the security legislation during the current Diet session. To this question, a total of 63.1% answered “no,” up 8.0 points from the last survey, with a total of 26.2% saying “yes.” Respondents were further asked whether they think the government has sufficiently explained the legislation. To this question, “no” accounted for a total of 84.0%, with “yes” for a total of no more than 13.2%. When asked whether they think the Self-Defense Forces’ risk of being involved in warfare after the legislation is enacted, “yes” substantially outnumbered “no change,” at 73.1% and 22.4%.
In the meantime, respondents were asked whether they think the government has taken appropriate action for the Japan Pension Service’s recent personal data leaks. To this question, “yes” accounted for a total of 72.6% and “yes” for a total of 13.1%.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will release a statement this summer to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the war’s end. In this regard, a total of 53.4% said he should incorporate in his statement “remorse” on and “apology” for [Japan’s one-time] “colonial rule and aggression,” with a total of 33.6% saying he should not.
In the breakdown of public support for political parties, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party stood at 37.0%, down 1.4 points from the last survey, with the leading opposition Democratic Party of Japan at 10.1%, up 1.0 points. The Japan Innovation Party was at 5.3%, the Komeito at 3.6%, the Japanese Communist Party at 4.8%, the Party for Future Generations at 0.6%, the Social Democratic Party at 0.9%, the People’s Life Party at 0.3%, the Assembly to Energize Japan at 0.1%, and the New Renaissance Party at 0.2%. “None of the above,” or those with no particular party affiliation, accounted for 36.9%.