(Yomiuri: February 1, 2016 – p. 1)
With the resignation of former Minister in Charge of Economic Revitalization Akira Amari, the Yomiuri Shimbun conducted a nationwide spot opinion poll on Jan. 30–31. A total of 70% of pollees said they thought it “made sense” that Amari resigned from the cabinet in the face of allegations that he had received illegal contributions. Meanwhile, 23% said that they thought it was “not necessary” for him to resign. When asked if Amari should fulfill his responsibility to explain the matter, 71% said “yes” while 24% said “no.”
The support rate for the Abe cabinet was 56%, remaining more or less unchanged from the 54% marked in the previous poll (Jan. 8–10). The resignation of this key member of the cabinet has evidently had no impact on the support rate at present. The nonsupport rate for the Abe cabinet was 34% (previous survey: 36%).
When asked whether they thought Prime Minister Abe had handled the allegations of illegal contributions [against Amari] appropriately, 57% of pollees said “yes,” exceeding by a wide margin the 28% who said “no.” It is thought that the reason the cabinet support rate did not decrease is because people looked favorably upon Abe’s response of having Amari resign promptly.
Only 33% said they “approved” of the appointment of Nobuteru Ishihara as the new minister in charge of economic revitalization, falling below the 40% who “did not approve.”
When asked about the impact that the change in this ministerial position would have on the Japanese economy, 26% said it would have a “negative impact,” while 4% said it would have a “positive impact” and 64% said it would have “no particular impact.” Regarding the Bank of Japan move to introduce “monetary easing with a negative interest rate,” only 24% said that the measures would lead to economic recovery while 47% did not think that they would.
Looking at the political party support rates, 40% of pollees said that they supported the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) (previous poll: 40%); 7% said the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) (previous poll: 8%); 4% said the Komeito (previous poll: 4%); and 4% said the Japanese Communist Party (previous poll: 4%). When asked which party they would vote for in the proportional representation segment of the Upper House elections this summer, 39% of respondents said the LDP (previous poll: 37%) and 11% said the DPJ (previous poll: 13%).