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51% support Abe cabinet, Mainichi Shimbun poll

  • 2016-02-01 15:00:00
  • , Mainichi
  • Translation

(Mainichi: February 1, 2016 – p. 1)


 The Mainichi Shimbun conducted a nationwide public opinion poll on Jan. 30 and 31. The Abe cabinet support rate was 51%, 8 percentage points higher than in the previous survey taken in Dec. 2015. This is the first time that the support rate has topped 50% since the March 2014 poll. The nonsupport rate was 30%, 7 points lower than the last survey. Former Minister in Charge of Economic Revitalization Akira Amari resigned on Jan. 28 amid a money scandal involving him and his secretary. When asked whether the responsibility for having appointed Amari to the cabinet lies with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, respondents were essentially split with 46% saying that the Prime Minister “did not have heavy responsibility” and 42% saying the Prime Minister “had a heavy responsibility.” It is thought that Abe’s performance in international diplomacy has pushed up the support rate as the Amari scandal has not impacted the cabinet support rate and public criticism of the security-related legislation has lessened.


 At the press conference where Amari announced his resignation, Amari admitted that he and his secretary had received cash from a construction company in Chiba Prefecture. Lawyers continue to investigate the issue involving his secretary. According to the recent survey, 67% think that Amari’s “explanation was not sufficient” while 20% said that his “explanation was sufficient.” There is thus a strong sense among the public that Amari should be pressed to give an explanation even after his resignation.


 Among those who responded that the Prime Minister “did not bear heavy responsibility” [in appointing Amari], 68% support the cabinet and 15% do not. In contrast, among those who said that the Prime Minister “did bear heavy responsibility,” 32% support the cabinet and 50% do not. This means that there is a certain percentage of people who support the cabinet although they think that the Prime Minister does bear heavy responsibility in the appointment.


 When asked if they approve of the appointment of Nobuteru Ishihara, former LDP secretary-general, as the successor to Amari, 50% said “no” and 31% said “yes.” Even those who support the cabinet are split over this matter, with 42% saying they “approve” of the appointment of Ishihara and 40% reporting they “do not approve.”


 On Dec. 28, 2015, the Japanese and South Korean governments agreed to a “final and irreversible resolution” to the comfort women issue. According to the survey, 65% indicated that they “approve” of the agreement, substantially exceeding the 25% who said they “do not approve.” Of those who support the cabinet, 75% approve of the Japan-South Korea pact. Even among those who do not support the cabinet, over half – 55% – approve of the bilateral accord.


 When asked if they thought the comfort women issue would be resolved through this pact, however, 72% said “no” and only 19% said “yes.”


 The cabinet support rate among men increased by 5 percentage points from the last survey while the rate among women rose by 9 points. This increase in the cabinet support rate among women is a unique feature of this survey.


 Turning to the support rates for political parties, the support rate for the Liberal Democratic Party increased by 5 points to 34%, followed by the Democratic Party of Japan at 7%, the Komeito at 5%, the Japanese Communist Party at 4%, and Initiatives from Osaka (Osaka Ishin no Kai) at 4%. Meanwhile, 34% of respondents said that they do not support any of the parties.



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