(Tokyo Shimbun: February 1, 2016 – p. 2)
In the nationwide telephone survey conducted by Kyodo News on Jan. 30–31, a full 67.3% of respondents said it “made sense” that Akira Amari, who recently resigned as minister in charge of economic revitalization over a fund scandal, stepped down from his post, while 28.5% said he “did not need to quit.” The poll also found 50.3% were “opposed” to going ahead with reforms to Japan’s Constitution following the Upper House election scheduled for this summer, while 37.5% were “in favor.”
When asked whether the responsibility for appointing Amari lies with Abe, 46.8% of respondents said “yes” while 50.1% said “no.” Although 55.5% said Amari “does not need to leave” the House of Representatives, 39.7% said he “should resign.”
The support rate for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s cabinet rose 4.3 points in January from the previous survey conducted in December 2015 to 53.7%. The disapproval rate came in at 35.3%, down 2.9 percentage points from the previous poll.
Asked about a government push to ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and pass related bills before the end of the current Diet session, 69.2% of respondents said lawmakers “should prioritize careful deliberation” of the TPP trade pact ratification and related legislation even if it is carried over to the following session. Only 21.2% said that “the TPP should be ratified and the related legislation passed in the current Diet session” while 6.3% said that “there is no need to ratify the TPP or pass the legislation.”
Respondents were virtually evenly divided over whether Lower House elections should be held before the issue of vote-value disparity has been resolved, with 45.6% saying it was “acceptable” and 42.6% saying “Lower House elections should not be held [until the disparity is rectified].”
A total of 47.8% of respondents said they “support” the Japanese government policy to relocate the U.S. military’s Futenma Air Station (Ginowan City, Okinawa Prefecture) to Henoko in Nago City, while 43.0% said they “do not support” the plan.