(Yomiuri: February 26, 2016 – p. 2)
In a recent nationwide mail-in public opinion survey conducted by the Yomiuri Shimbun to probe public attitudes on Abenomics, nonsupport for this Abe administration economic policy came in at 57%, exceeding the 42% who support Abenomics, which has been in place for the past three plus years. When asked why they either approve or disapprove of Abenomics (multiple answers permitted), the top reason among nonsupporters of the economic program was “absence of pay hikes” at 60% while the top reason among supporters was “improved business performance primarily of major corporations” at 44%. Regarding the outlook for the Japanese economy, 34% of pollees reported being “optimistic” while 65% said they were “pessimistic.” Meanwhile, 84% indicated that they “do not have a tangible sense of economic recovery.”
It is thought that the percentage of people critical of Abenomics exceeds 50% because improvements in corporate business performance have not impacted household budgets and people are concerned about the future of the Japanese economy due to the stock market turbulence since the beginning of the year.
A full 78% of people reported that they have watched their expenditures, including their shopping, over the past two or three years. The top reason given for why they are holding down their expenditures (multiple responses permitted) was “because of concern about old age, including pension, medical care, and nursing care” at 72%.
Regarding raising the consumption tax to 10%, 22% of pollees said “the hike should be implemented from April 2017 as scheduled” while 32% said “the consumption tax hike is necessary, but implementation should be postponed.” Those saying “the consumption tax should not be increased from the current 8%” came in at 40%. The public opinion poll was taken from mid-January through mid-February.