(Tokyo Shimbun: July 19, 2015—p. 1)
According to findings from a telephone-based spot public opinion survey conducted by Kyodo News across the nation on July 17-18, the rate of public support for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his cabinet was 37.7%, sustaining a sharp drop of 9.7 percentage points from the 47.4% rating in the last survey conducted in June. This is the lowest figure since the launch of his rebooted cabinet in December 2012. The nonsupport rate was 51.6% (43.0% in the last survey), topping 50%. The Abe cabinet’s support and nonsupport rates switched places for the first time in the latest survey that can be compared with similar surveys taken in the past. The ruling Liberal Democratic Party of Japan and its coalition partner, the Komeito party, took a vote on the government’s proposed security-related legislative measures in a plenary sitting of the House of Representatives on July 16, while many of the opposition parties’ members walked out or stayed away. In the survey, respondents were asked whether they think it was good. In the breakdown of answers to this question, “no” accounted for a total of 73.3%, with “yes” for a total of 21.4%.
In the breakdown of public support for political parties, the LDP stood at 31.9%, down 5.1 points from the last survey. The leading opposition Democratic Party of Japan was at 11.2%, showing a slight increase of 1.1 points. The Japan Innovation Party was at 3.6%, the Komeito at 2.9%, the Japanese Communist Party at 7.3%, the Party for Future Generations at 0.4%, the Social Democratic Party at 2.1%, and the People’s Life Party at 0.7%. None of the respondents chose the Assembly to Energize Japan or the New Renaissance Party. “None of the above,” or those with no particular party affiliation, accounted for a total of 39.3%. (Abridged)