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Support rate for Abe cabinet down 7 points to 46.7%: Kyodo poll

  • 2016-02-22 15:00:00
  • , Tokyo Shimbun
  • Translation

(Tokyo Shimbun: February 22, 2016 – p. 2)


 The support rating for Shinzo Abe’s cabinet stood at 46.7% in a nationwide telephone survey conducted on Feb. 20–21 by Kyodo News, down 7.0 percentage points from the previous poll in late January. The disapproval rating for the cabinet came in at 38.9%, up 3.6 points from the last poll. In light of a series of scandals and gaffes involving cabinet ministers and politicians of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), 77.7% of respondents said that members of the government and ruling bloc “have been lax in their duties.”


 Regarding an expert panel’s proposal that the number of seats in the House of Representatives be cut by 10 [to 465], 50.6% indicated that “the number should be reduced for the next Lower House election.” Adding to that the percentage who responded that “[the number should be reduced but] it does not have to be from the next Lower House election,” a total of 86.1% said that “the number of seats should be reduced.”


 As for the merger of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) and the Japan Innovation Party (JIP), 65.9% said “the parties do not need to merge,” while 20.9% backed the integration, responding “the parties should merge.”


 Of the respondents, 85.6% said it was “a matter of course” that former LDP Lower House member Kensuke Miyazaki resigned after admitting to having an affair with a model. Asked about Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Sanae Takaichi’s comments that broadcast stations could be ordered to cease operations if they repeatedly present politically biased content in violation of the law, 67.4% said “the remarks threaten” media freedom. This figure includes pollees who responded “generally agree.”


 As for the Bank of Japan’s introduction of a negative interest rate, 82.2% said they “do not expect” the measure to shore up the economy. On Japan’s strengthening of its unilateral sanctions against North Korea, 73.8% said they “approve.” With opposition parties submitting bills to the Diet aimed at scrapping controversial security laws [enacted last year], 38.1% agreed the “legislation should be scrapped.” This figure was surpassed by the 47.0% who said “the legislation should not be scrapped.”


 When asked which political party’s candidates or which political party they plan to vote for in regard to the proportional representation seats in the Upper House elections this summer, 33.7% said the LDP (previous survey: 38.4%) while 9.9% said the DPJ (previous poll: 12.5%).


 Turning to political party support rates, the results were as follows: LDP, 38.1%, down 4.0 points; DPJ, 9.3%, down 0.2 points; Japanese Communist Party, 4.5%; Komeito, 4.3%; Initiatives from Osaka (Osaka Ishin no Kai), 4.0%; JIP, 1.2%; Social Democratic Party, 1.1%; People’s Life Party, 0.8%; Party for Japanese Kokoro, 0.1%; New Renaissance Party, 0.1%; Kaikaku Kesshu no Kai, no response; “not support a particular party,” 35.5%.


 [The survey covered 1,454 randomly selected households with eligible voters nationwide, with valid responses collected from 1,015 people.]

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