(Nikkei: July 27, 2015—p. 1, p. 2)
The Nihon Keizai Shimbun and TV Tokyo jointly conducted a public opinion survey across the nation on July 24-26. The rate of public support for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his cabinet was 38%, down 9 percentage points from the last survey in June, with the nonsupport rate at 50%, up 10 points. The Abe cabinet’s support and nonsupport rates switched places for the first time since the current Abe cabinet came into office in December 2012. This is also the first time for the Abe cabinet’s support rate to fall below 40% and for its nonsupport rate to reach 50%. In the survey, respondents were asked whether they think the government’s proposed package of security-related legislative measures, featuring a bill allowing Japan to exercise the right of collective self-defense, should be enacted during the current Diet session. In the breakdown of answers to this question, negative answers substantially outnumbered affirmative ones, with “no” accounting for a total of 57% and “yes” for a total of 26%.
In the breakdown of public support for political parties, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party of Japan stood at 36%, down 2 points from the last survey, with the leading opposition Democratic Party of Japan at 11%, up 3 points. The proportion of those with no particular party affiliation, or floating voters, was at 36%, almost unchanged from the last survey.
The survey was carried out by Nikkei Research Inc. over the telephone on a computer-aided random digit dialing (RDD) basis. Chosen for the survey were men and women aged 20 and over across the nation. A total of 1,432 households with one or more eligible voters were sampled. Answers were obtained from 1,034 persons (72.2%).
In the meantime, respondents were also asked what they think Japan should do in its negotiations over the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). To this question, a total of 41% answered that “Japan should forgo reaching an agreement rather than make a compromise,” with a total of 36% saying “making a compromise is unavoidable.” Among LDP supporters, 32% said “Japan should forgo reaching an agreement rather than make a compromise,” with 48% saying “making a compromise is unavoidable.” (Abridged)