(Nikkei: December 28, 2015 – p. 1)
According to a poll conducted by Nikkei Inc. and TV Tokyo on Dec. 25–27, supporters of introducing the reduced tax rate of 8% on food, excluding alcohol and restaurant meals, when the consumption tax is raised to 10% in April 2017 outnumber opponents 56% to 34%. At 47%, fewer than half of respondents opposed increasing the consumption tax to 10%, down 9 percentage points from the October survey. Support for raising the tax gained 6 points to reach 42%.
Support for the Abe cabinet edged down 1 point to 48% from the previous poll taken at the end of November. The cabinet’s disapproval rating remained at 36%.
Support for the tax increase was highest in the Tokyo area, overtaking opposition 48% (up 7 points from the October poll) to 41% (down 9 points).
When asked whether the reduced tax rate should be applied to newspapers and publications, 39% of respondents said “the reduced rate should be applied to both newspapers and publications” while 32% said that “the reduced rate should not be applied to newspapers and publications.” Meanwhile, 18% of respondents said that “the reduced rate should be applied only to newspapers” while 4% thought that “the reduced rate should be applied only to publications.” In the ruling coalition’s outline for tax system revisions, newspapers sold in subscriptions of at least two issues a week will be subject to the reduced tax rate while further consideration will be given to application of the lower tax rate on books and magazines.
The LDP’s approval rating remained steady at 37%, while that of the Democratic Party of Japan fell 2 percentage points to 6%. The proportion of respondents not identifying themselves with any party rose 3 points to 43%.
The telephone poll was conducted by Nikkei Research Inc. of men and women, aged 20 and over, nationwide on a random digit dialing (RDD) basis. Of the 1,367 households with eligible voters contacted, 1,002 responded, for a response rate of 73.3%.