(Yomiuri: February 16, 2016 – p. 2)
The Yomiuri Shimbun conducted a nationwide opinion poll on Feb. 12–14. The support rate for the Abe cabinet was 52%, a drop of four percentage points from the 56% marked in the previous poll (Jan. 30–31). The nonsupport rate for the Abe cabinet rose to 36% (34%). It is thought that the support rate decreased due to several cases of improper conduct by cabinet members and LDP Diet members in addition to the spread of concern regarding “Abenomics,” the Abe cabinet’s economic policy package, with the rapid appreciation of the yen and decrease in stock prices since the beginning of the month.
The percentage of people who said that they “approve” of the Abe cabinet’s economic policies fell to 39% (previous poll: 47%). This figure is tied with the finding in the poll conducted on Dec. 17–18 last year for the lowest result since the question started to be asked in June 2013. Pollees who indicated that they “do not approve” of Abe’s economic policies rose to 44% (38%). A total of 77% said that they “do not have a tangible sense” of economic recovery.
A full 76% of pollees said that they “approve” of the Japanese government’s decision to strength its unilateral sanctions against North Korea in response to that country’s firing of a long-range ballistic missile. This figure outdistances by a large margin the 14% who said they “do not approve.”
When asked whether the international society’s strengthening of sanctions against North Korea will result in the DPRK’s discontinuation of its nuclear and missile development, however, only 31% said “yes” and over half (56%) said “no.”
A total of 80% of pollees said that they felt either “great” or “some” threat from North Korea’s missile launch.
[To amend the Constitution requires the approval of “two-thirds or more” of the members of both the Upper and Lower Houses of the Diet.] A total of 36% of respondents said that “it would be good” if pro-revision candidates took two-thirds or more of the seats in this summer’s Upper House elections, while 46% said “It would not be good.”
When asked which party they will vote for in the proportional representation segment of the Upper House elections this summer, 40% of respondents said the Liberal Democratic Party (previous poll: 39%), 12% said the Democratic Party of Japan (11%), and 5% said Initiatives from Osaka (Osaka Ishin no Kai) (6%).
The political party support rates did not show much change from the last survey: 42% of pollees said that they support the LDP (previous poll: 40%); 7% said the DPJ (7%); 3% said the Komeito (4%); and 3% said the Japanese Communist Party (4%).