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Cabinet support rate dips slightly to 48.1%: Sankei poll

  • 2016-02-23 15:00:00
  • , Sankei
  • Translation

(Sankei: February 23, 2016 – p. 2)


 In the opinion poll jointly conducted by the Sankei Shimbun and Fuji News Network (FNN) on Feb. 20–21, the support rate for the Shinzo Abe cabinet held essentially steady at 48.1%, down 0.4 percentage points from the previous poll (conducted by the Sankei Shimbun and Fuji News Network on Jan. 23–24), while the nonsupport rate was 41.4%, up 1.3 points. The series of scandals involving members of the government and ruling parties – including the bribery allegations surrounding former Minister in Charge of Economic Revitalization Akira Amari and former Lower House member Kensuke Miyazaki’s affair with a model – have had limited impact.


 When asked if they thought it would be alright for the House of Representatives elections to be held on the same day as this summer’s House of Councillors elections, over half (52.5%) of all respondents said “yes.” It looks like Prime Minister Abe has received the public’s approval to go ahead with holding Lower House elections on the same day as those for the Upper House.


 The public is very critical, however, of individual politicians involved in scandals. A total of 67.2% of respondents said that “it makes sense” that Amari resigned from his cabinet position while 78.0% of pollees said the same of Kensuke Miyazaki’s resignation as a Diet member. In regard to LDP Judicial Affairs Division Director Kazuya Maruyama’s remark that could be taken as racist concerning U.S. President Barack Obama, 56.8% of pollees said that the comment “merited his resignation.” Meanwhile, over 70% (70.7%) of pollees said that Environment Minister Tamayo Marukawa’s remarks about the government’s radiation decontamination target were “unacceptable for a cabinet member.”


 Nonetheless, the LDP support rating came in at 37.8%, up 2.3 points from the previous survey. This shows that the scandals have not developed into a questioning of the responsibility of the government and ruling parties. The support rate for the DPJ was up 1.3 points to 9.7%, signifying that the party has been unable to win over those critical of the ruling bloc and a large gap with the LDP remains. Asked how they plan to vote in the proportional representation portion of this summer’s Upper House elections, 40.5% said the LDP, setting that party far ahead of the DPJ (14.3%) as well as all other parties (each below 10%).


 When asked whether they thought it would be good for the LDP and Komeito to continue holding a majority of the seats after the House of Councillors elections, 51.9% said “yes,” surpassing those saying “no” (41.3%) by over 10 points.


 The survey also asked respondents how much of a threat they feel in regard to North Korea’s nuclear test and de facto long-range ballistic missile launch. Over 80% (85.6%) said that they either feel a “great threat” (42.7%) or “some threat” (42.9%). A total of 76.4% of respondents said that they approve of the Japanese government’s strengthening of its unilateral sanctions against the DPRK.








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