(Sankei: March 22, 2016 – p. 5)
In the opinion poll jointly conducted by the Sankei Shimbun and Fuji News Network (FNN) [on March 19–20], over 70% of each major party’s supporters said either “the consumption tax hike should be postponed” or “the consumption tax rate should not be raised.” About half also said that the increase in the tax rate to 10% should be frozen and a snap election called to seek voter response. Voters seem to want Abe to do what he did in the autumn of 2014, namely, to delay the tax hike and then dissolve the Lower House and call a general election.
The March joint poll asked respondents for their views on raising the consumption tax to 10% starting from April 2017 as scheduled. A full 51.0% of LDP supporters said “the tax hike should be postponed” while 24.3% indicated “the tax should not be raised” and 24.0% said “the tax hike should be implemented as scheduled.”
Among Komeito supporters, 43.5% said “the tax hike should be postponed” while 37.0% indicated “the tax should not be raised” and 19.6% said the “tax hike should be implemented as scheduled.” A total of over 80% of supporters of the Democratic Party (DP), the new political party to be formed through the merger of the DPJ and Japan Innovation Party, were against the tax hike, with 46.9% saying “the tax should not be raised” and 37.5% indicating “the tax hike should be postponed.”
Only 10% of Japanese Communist Party (JCP) supporters think that the tax hike should be implemented as scheduled. A full 25% of supporters of Initiatives from Osaka are of that viewpoint as well.
When asked whether they thought it would be good for a freeze to be placed on the tax rate hike and a snap election called to seek voter response, 53.1% of DP supporters were against the idea, outnumbering the 43.0% who were in favor. In contrast, however, around 50% of LDP, Komeito, and JCP supporters were in favor, exceeding those against. Supporters of Initiatives from Osaka were evenly split on this question, with 47.7% in favor and 47.7% against. (Slightly abridged)