(Asahi: January 19, 2016 – p. 1)
The Asahi Shimbun conducted a telephone-based public opinion survey across the nation on Jan. 16–17. When asked if they thought that it would be best if the political parties aiming to amend the Constitution under the Abe administration were to hold a majority of two-thirds or more in the House of Councillors as a result of the elections to be held this summer, 46% of pollees said “no,” exceeding the 33% who said “yes.” Meanwhile, 63% of respondents said they “approve” of the agreement between Japan and South Korea at the end of last year to settle the comfort women issue, greatly surpassing the 19% who said they “do not approve” of the agreement.
The Abe cabinet’s support rate was up slightly to 42% (38% in the last survey conducted December [19–20]). The nonsupport rate was 38% (40% in the last survey). Looking at the results by gender, 47% of men support the cabinet while 38% of women do. The statistic for women represents a recovery from the 29% in the poll last September.
When asked if they thought that it would be best if the political parties aiming to amend the Constitution under the Abe administration were to hold a majority of two-thirds or more in the House of Councillors overall as a result of the elections to be held this summer, 51% of those supporting the cabinet said “yes” while 30% said “no.” A total of 52% of LDP supporters said “yes” while 26% said “no.” This means that a certain percentage of people even among supporters of both the cabinet and the LDP think that it would be best if pro-amendment political parties did not gain [a two-thirds majority in the Upper House].
When asked which political party or which political party’s candidate they would vote for in the proportional representation portion if the Upper House election were held now, 39% said the Liberal Democratic Party; 14%, the Democratic Party of Japan; 4%, the Komeito, 8%, the Japanese Communist Party; 2%, the Japan Innovation Party, and 6%, Initiatives from Osaka (Osaka Ishin no Kai).
Respondents were asked if Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s economic policies over the past three years have been a success or a failure overall. Opinion was evenly divided with 37% saying they have been a “success” and 35% saying they have been a “failure.”
When asked, as in some past surveys, whether they supported the security-related legislation passed last September, 31% said “yes” and 52% said “no.” In the nationwide poll taken last October, 49% said “no.” This means that the gap between those approving of the legislation and those not approving of it has not changed.