(Asahi: December 22, 2015 – p. 3)
The Asahi Shimbun conducted a telephone-based public opinion survey across the nation on Dec. 19–20. In the survey, respondents were asked whether they approve of the decision by the LDP and Komeito to keep the consumption tax rate at 8% for food in general (excluding alcoholic beverages and eating out) and newspapers. Negative answers slightly outnumbered affirmative ones, with “no” accounting for 47% and “yes” for 39%. The discussion of how to make provisions for the 1 trillion yen loss in tax revenues that will arise with the introduction of the reduced tax rates has been postponed until after next summer’s Upper House elections. When asked if they approve of this, 68% said “no,” while 15% said “yes.”
Looking at the breakdown of the statistics, 46% of LDP supporters approve of the scope of application of the reduced tax rates and 39% do not, while 80% of Komeito supporters approve of the scope of application. The survey also found that 35% of all respondents are in favor of raising the consumption tax to 10% in April 2017 and 56% are not.
When asked if they approve of the Abe administration’s decision to disburse lump-sum payments of 30,000 yen to each low-income elderly persons and persons with disabilities, 54% said “no” while 34% said “yes.” Regarding the Abe administration’s plan to abolish child-rearing benefits from next year, 70% said they “do not approve,” while 20% said they “approve.”
When asked if they thought that the opposition parties should cooperate together and present joint candidates in the Upper House elections next summer, 42% said “yes,” while 33% said “no.” The percentage of DPJ supporters who thought that joint candidates should be presented was 64%, while only 41% of independents thought so.
When asked if they supported the Supreme Court ruling that the Civil Code provision requiring that married couples use the same surname is constitutional, 58% said “yes,” while 28% said “no.” Meanwhile, 49% said they “approve” of allowing married couples to choose whether to use the same or different surnames, while 40% said they “do not approve.”
When asked how concerned they were that the same kind of terrorism could happen in Japan as recently happened in Paris where the extremist Islamic State group carried out attacks, a total of 85% said either that they are “very concerned” or “somewhat concerned,” greatly exceeding the 14% that said either that they are “not very concerned” or “not concerned at all.”
The Abe cabinet’s support rate was 38% (40% in the last survey conducted Nov. 7–8). The nonsupport rate was 40% (41% in the last survey).