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60% “approve” of Japan’s admitting military involvement in the comfort women issue

  • 2016-01-19 15:00:00
  • , Asahi
  • Translation

(Asahi: January 19, 2016 – p. 3)


 In the telephone-based public opinion survey conducted nationwide by the Asahi Shimbun on Jan. 16–17, 63% of pollees said they “approve” of the Japan-South Korea agreement on the comfort women issue. The poll also found that 60% of respondents “approve” of the Japanese government’s admitting to the Imperial Japanese Army’s involvement and the government’s responsibility in the comfort women issue. Respondents approving the admission greatly exceeded the 23% who said they “did not approve.”


 Regarding the Japanese government’s announcement that it would give 1 billion yen to a foundation created by the South Korean government to support the former comfort women, however, only 35% of pollees said it was “appropriate,” well below the 49% who thought the move was “not appropriate.” The percentages were about equal even when limiting the pool to those supporting the cabinet, with 42% saying the announcement was “appropriate” and 45% saying it was “not appropriate.” The percentages were also about the same when the pool was limited to LDP supporters, with 41% saying the announcement was “appropriate” and 45% indicating it was “not appropriate.” The survey found that 43% of men and 27% of women thought the government’s statement was “appropriate.”


 When asked if they thought the agreement would help improve relations between Japan and South Korea, 54% of respondents said “yes,” while 31% indicated “no.” Limiting the pollees to those who support the cabinet, 66% said the agreement would boost bilateral ties while 24 said it would not. Looking at pollees who do not support the cabinet, 49% said that the agreement would help while 40% said it would not.


 Starting from this summer’s House of Councillors elections, people aged 18 and 19 will also be able to vote. Asked if they thought Japan’s politics would change with the participation of 18- and 19-year-olds, 33% of pollees said “yes” while 57% indicated “no.” Looking at the results by age group, almost 40% of those in their twenties and thirties said politics would change with the involvement of 18- and 19-year-olds, while the figures for those in their forties through sixties were at the 30% level and the figure for those aged 70 and above was 28%.

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