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POLITICS

Opinion poll & results from Asahi Shimbun on the Constitution of Japan

 

Questions & answers (%)

Figures rounded off. Some questions and answers have been omitted. All questions were asked of all respondents except for those questions indented and marked with a bullet, which are subquestions. The figures given for subquestions are percentages of the respondents in the given category. Bracketed figures denote proportions of all respondents. Except where noted, respondents were asked to select one response from a list.

 

Q: Do you support the Abe cabinet?

 

Yes

43

No

49

 

Q: Which of the following were factors that led to your decision to either support or not support the Abe cabinet? Select as many responses as you wish.

 

Cash-for-favors scandal involving former Minister in Charge of Economic Revitalization Akira Amari

20

Security-related legislation

54

Agreement reached with South Korea regarding the “comfort women” issue

19

Economic policies to promote the “dynamic engagement of all citizens”

38

Issues surrounding the relocation of the U.S. military’s Futenma Air Station in Okinawa Prefecture

27

Stock price movements

15

North Korea’s nuclear tests and missile launches

21

Introduction of lower tax rates [on certain items] with the consumption tax hike

42

 

Q: Which political party do you support now?

 

Liberal Democratic Party of Japan (LDP or Jiminto)

33

Party to be formed through merger of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) and the Japan Innovation Party (JIP or Nippon Ishinnoto)

9

Komeito (K or Komeito)

4

Japanese Communist Party (JCP or Kyosanto)

4

Initiatives from Osaka (Osaka Ishin no Kai)

3

Vision of Reform (Kaikaku Kesshu no Kai)

0

Social Democratic Party (SDP or Shaminto)

1

People’s Life Party (PLP or Seikatsunoto)

0

Party for Japanese Kokoro (Nihon no Kokoro wo Taisetsu ni Suru To)

0

Assembly to Energize Japan (AEJ or Nippon wo Genki ni Suru Kai)

0

New Renaissance Party (NRP or Shinto Kaikaku)

0

Other political parties

0

None of the above (NOTA)

45

No answer (N/A) + Don’t know (D/K)

1

 

Q: Which of the following policies of the Abe cabinet do you approve of? Select as many responses as you wish.

 

Economy and jobs

36

Social security and welfare

19

Consumption tax hike

12

Fiscal reconstruction

13

Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact

26

Disaster reconstruction

22

Nuclear power and energy

8

Education and child-rearing

16

Diplomacy and security

25

Constitution

8

 

Q: Which of the following policies of the Abe cabinet do you not approve of? Select as many responses as you wish.

 

Economy and jobs

33

Social security and welfare

37

Consumption tax hike

50

Fiscal reconstruction

23

Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact

16

Disaster reconstruction

28

Nuclear power and energy

45

Education and child-rearing

40

Diplomacy and security

25

Constitution

37

 

Q: How much do you like or dislike the following politicians and political parties? Select a rating with (1) signifying “like very much,” (4) meaning “midway between (1) and (7),” and (7) signifying “dislike very much.”

 

 

(1) Like very much

(2)

(3)

(4)

(5)

(6)

(7) Dislike very much

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

5

9

15

35

15

8

12

LDP

4

8

14

40

15

9

8

Party to be formed through merger of DPJ and JIP

1

2

6

38

20

13

15

Komeito

2

2

4

35

21

15

18

JCP

2

1

5

33

20

16

19

Initiatives from Osaka

2

4

8

36

20

13

13

 

Q: For which party do you have the highest expectations in regard to the following policies?

 

Economic measures

Liberal Democratic Party of Japan (LDP or Jiminto)

41

Party to be formed through merger of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) and Japan Innovation Party (JIP or Nippon Ishinnoto)

9

Komeito (K or Komeito)

3

Japanese Communist Party (JCP or Kyosanto)

3

Initiatives from Osaka (Osaka Ishin no Kai)

4

Vision of Reform (Kaikaku Kesshu no Kai)

0

Social Democratic Party (SDP or Shaminto)

1

People’s Life Party (PLP or Seikatsunoto)

0

Party for Japanese Kokoro (Nihon no Kokoro wo Taisetsu ni Suru To)

0

Assembly to Energize Japan (AEJ or Nippon wo Genki ni Suru Kai)

0

New Renaissance Party (NRP or Shinto Kaikaku)

0

Other political parties

0

None of the above (NOTA)

35

No answer (N/A) + Don’t know (D/K)

4

 

Political and administrative reform

Liberal Democratic Party of Japan (LDP or Jiminto)

26

Party to be formed through merger of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) and Japan Innovation Party (JIP or Nippon Ishinnoto)

13

Komeito (K or Komeito)

4

Japanese Communist Party (JCP or Kyosanto)

4

Initiatives from Osaka (Osaka Ishin no Kai)

9

Vision of Reform (Kaikaku Kesshu no Kai)

0

Social Democratic Party (SDP or Shaminto)

1

People’s Life Party (PLP or Seikatsunoto)

0

Party for Japanese Kokoro (Nihon no Kokoro wo Taisetsu ni Suru To)

0

Assembly to Energize Japan (AEJ or Nippon wo Genki ni Suru Kai)

0

New Renaissance Party (NRP or Shinto Kaikaku)

0

Other political parties

0

None of the above (NOTA)

37

No answer (N/A) + Don’t know (D/K)

6

 

Social security, including healthcare and pensions

Liberal Democratic Party of Japan (LDP or Jiminto)

26

Party to be formed through merger of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) and Japan Innovation Party (JIP or Nippon Ishinnoto)

11

Komeito (K or Komeito)

10

Japanese Communist Party (JCP or Kyosanto)

7

Initiatives from Osaka (Osaka Ishin no Kai)

3

Vision of Reform (Kaikaku Kesshu no Kai)

0

Social Democratic Party (SDP or Shaminto)

2

People’s Life Party (PLP or Seikatsunoto)

1

Party for Japanese Kokoro (Nihon no Kokoro wo Taisetsu ni Suru To)

0

Assembly to Energize Japan (AEJ or Nippon wo Genki ni Suru Kai)

0

New Renaissance Party (NRP or Shinto Kaikaku)

0

Other political parties

0

None of the above (NOTA)

35

No answer (N/A) + Don’t know (D/K)

5

 

Diplomacy and security

Liberal Democratic Party of Japan (LDP or Jiminto)

45

Party to be formed through merger of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) and Japan Innovation Party (JIP or Nippon Ishinnoto)

8

Komeito (K or Komeito)

3

Japanese Communist Party (JCP or Kyosanto)

3

Initiatives from Osaka (Osaka Ishin no Kai)

2

Vision of Reform (Kaikaku Kesshu no Kai)

0

Social Democratic Party (SDP or Shaminto)

1

People’s Life Party (PLP or Seikatsunoto)

0

Party for Japanese Kokoro (Nihon no Kokoro wo Taisetsu ni Suru To)

0

Assembly to Energize Japan (AEJ or Nippon wo Genki ni Suru Kai)

0

New Renaissance Party (NRP or Shinto Kaikaku)

0

Other political parties

0

None of the above (NOTA)

32

No answer (N/A) + Don’t know (D/K)

6

 

Constitution

Liberal Democratic Party of Japan (LDP or Jiminto)

29

Party to be formed through merger of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) and Japan Innovation Party (JIP or Nippon Ishinnoto)

11

Komeito (K or Komeito)

5

Japanese Communist Party (JCP or Kyosanto)

7

Initiatives from Osaka (Osaka Ishin no Kai)

2

Vision of Reform (Kaikaku Kesshu no Kai)

0

Social Democratic Party (SDP or Shaminto)

3

People’s Life Party (PLP or Seikatsunoto)

0

Party for Japanese Kokoro (Nihon no Kokoro wo Taisetsu ni Suru To)

0

Assembly to Energize Japan (AEJ or Nippon wo Genki ni Suru Kai)

0

New Renaissance Party (NRP or Shinto Kaikaku)

0

Other political parties

0

None of the above (NOTA)

37

No answer (N/A) + Don’t know (D/K)

6

 

Q: How interested are you currently in politics?

 

Very interested

14

Somewhat interested

51

Not very interested

28

Not interested at all

4

 

Q: How frequently do you go vote in an election?

 

I go vote almost every time

60

I go vote more frequently than I do not go

19

I don’t go vote more frequently than I do go

11

I almost never go vote

6

 

Q: How much power do you think your one vote in an election has to impact politics?

 

A lot of power

8

Some power

31

Not much power

44

No power

14

 

Q: Upper House elections will be held this summer. If you were to cast your vote now, which political party or which political party’s candidate would you vote for in the proportional representation portion?

 

Liberal Democratic Party of Japan (LDP or Jiminto)

39

Party to be formed through merger of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) and Japan Innovation Party (JIP or Nippon Ishinnoto)

23

Komeito (K or Komeito)

6

Japanese Communist Party (JCP or Kyosanto)

8

Initiatives from Osaka (Osaka Ishin no Kai)

8

Vision of Reform (Kaikaku Kesshu no Kai)

0

Social Democratic Party (SDP or Shaminto)

2

People’s Life Party (PLP or Seikatsunoto)

1

Party for Japanese Kokoro (Nihon no Kokoro wo Taisetsu ni Suru To)

0

Assembly to Energize Japan (AEJ or Nippon wo Genki ni Suru Kai)

0

New Renaissance Party (NRP or Shinto Kaikaku)

0

Other political parties

2

No answer (N/A) + Don’t know (D/K)

11

 

Q: Which of the following policies will you put priority on in making your decision of how to vote in the upcoming Upper House elections? Select as many responses as you wish.

 

Economy and jobs

67

Social security and welfare

65

Consumption tax hike

35

Fiscal reconstruction

27

Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact

13

Disaster reconstruction

31

Nuclear power and energy

27

Education and child-rearing

49

Diplomacy and security

36

Constitution

29

 

Q: Of the policies that you selected in the previous question, which one will you put the most priority on in making your decision of how to vote in the upcoming Upper House elections?

 

Economy and jobs

30

Social security and welfare

22

Consumption tax hike

8

Fiscal reconstruction

4

Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact

1

Disaster reconstruction

3

Nuclear power and energy

4

Education and child-rearing

9

Diplomacy and security

6

Constitution

8

 

Q: Do you think there should be repeated changes in administration in the future?

 

Yes

41

No

51

 

Q: How long should the Japanese prime minister’s term of office be?

 

1 year

1

2 years

5

3 years

25

4 years

36

5 years or more

26

 

Q: What do you think of the current state of the Japanese economy?

 

Very good

0

Somewhat good

26

Somewhat bad

49

Very bad

21

 

Q: To what extent do you approve of the Abe cabinet’s economic policies?

 

Very much

2

Somewhat

45

Not very much

38

Not at all

12

 

Q: How has your standard of living changed under the Abe cabinet’s economic policies?

 

Improved

4

Worsened

21

Not changed

72

 

Q: How do you think your standard of living will change under the Abe cabinet’s economic policies in the future?

 

Will improve

7

Will worsen

27

Will not change

62

 

Q: How much are you relying on the public pension system, including the Employees’ Pension and the National Pension?

 

Rely very much

5

Rely somewhat

38

Not rely much

39

Not rely at all

16

 

Q: Do you think that the Constitution will be the main focal issue in the upcoming Upper House elections?

 

The Constitution will be the main focal issue

32

There will be other important issues

60

 

Q: To amend the Constitution requires that a majority of two-thirds or more of the members of both the Upper and Lower Houses propose amendments and that the proposed amendments are passed by a majority in a national referendum. Do you think it would be good for members of parties in favor of amendment to gain a majority of two-thirds or more of the seats in the Upper House as a result of the elections?

 

Yes

39

No

51

 

Q: Below is the text of Article 9 of the Constitution. (Text of Article 9 omitted.) Do you think Article 9 should be amended?

 

Yes

27

No

68

 

  • Q: (Only for the 27% who answered “yes” to the foregoing question) Why?

 

 

Because Japan should contribute more to international peace

26[7]

Because the existence of the Self-Defense Forces should be stipulated in the Constitution

35[9]

Because it would strengthen the Japan-U.S. alliance and lead to stability in East Asia

30[8]

 

  • Q: (Only for the 68% who answered “no” to the foregoing question) Why?

 

 

Because Article 9 renounces war and prohibits Japan from maintaining war potential

52[35]

Because the Self-Defense Forces can function with Article 9 as it is

35[24]

Because the situation in East Asia will become unstable if Article 9 is changed

11[7]

 

Q: Are you in favor or opposed to the security-related legislation that allows Japan to exercise its right to collective self-defense and expands the overseas role of the Self-Defense Forces?

 

In favor

34

Opposed

53

 

Q: Do you think the security-related legislation is in violation of the Constitution?

 

Yes

50

No

38

 

Q: Do you think today’s Self-Defense Forces are in violation of the Constitution?

 

Yes

21

No

69

 

Q: Are you in favor or opposed to changing the Constitution’s Article 9 to redefine the Self-Defense Forces as Japan’s formal armed forces?

 

In favor

22

Opposed

71

 

Q: Some say that “state-of-emergency provisions,” under which the government would have increased authority in an emergency situation, such as a terrorist attack or a major natural disaster, should be added to the Constitution. Others say that such emergency situations can be handled adequately under the current Constitution if other laws are enhanced. Are you in favor or opposed to adding state-of-emergency provisions to the Constitution?

 

In favor of provisions being added to the Constitution

33

Opposed to provisions being added to the Constitution because such emergency situations can be handled under the current Constitution if other laws are enhanced

52

 

  • Q: (Only for the 33% who answered “in favor of provisions being added to the Constitution” to the foregoing question) Which of the following should be added as state-of-emergency provisions?

 

 

Provisions that allow Diet members’ terms in office to be lengthened

20[7]

Provisions that enhance the authority of the prime minister and cabinet

48[16]

Provisions that require the Japanese people to follow instructions issued by the national and local governments

40[13]

 

Q: Constitutionalism is the idea [that government should be legally limited in its powers] so that the abuse of state authority is prevented and the rights of the people are guaranteed. Do you identify with this idea?

 

Yes

77

No

13

 

Q: Do you think it is best that the Constitution not be easily amendable? Or do you think it is best that the Constitution be flexibly amendable? Pick the option closest to your view on this matter.

 

It is best that the Constitution not be easily amendable

62

It is best that the Constitution be flexibly amendable

31

 

Q: Do you think the current Constitution of Japan is a good one on the whole?

 

Yes

67

No

23

 

Q: Do you think the current Constitution needs to be amended?

 

Yes

37

No

55

 

  • Q: (Only for the 37% who answered “yes” to the foregoing question) Why do you think the Constitution needs to be amended? (Select up to three responses.)

 

 

Because provisions on national defense are inadequate

52[19]

Because Japan’s national character is not reflected in the Constitution as it was imposed on Japan by the United States

34[12]

Because the Constitution has given rise to egotistic tendencies

7[3]

Because public welfare in the Constitution is too pronounced

5[2]

Because I would like to see the addition of rights not in the current Constitution

24[9]

Because there are problems with the structure of the Diet

28[10]

Because I sense that things would be better if the Constitution were amended

15[6]

Because the Constitution is out of date

43[16]

 

  • Q: (Only for the 55% who answered “no” to the foregoing question) Why do you think the Constitution does not need to be amended? (Select up to three responses.)

 

 

Because the current Constitution has brought peace

72[40]

Because the Constitution is well established among the people

37[21]

Because it places value on the individual

38[21]

Because it speaks of public welfare

11[6]

Because it sufficiently guarantees rights

23[13]

Because Japan has been able to put emphasis on economic development rather than military matters

18[10]

Because the problems are not large enough to require amendment of the Constitution

29[16]

Because the content of the Constitution is out of date

6[3]

 

Q: Prime Minister Abe has clearly stated his aim of amending the Constitution. Are you in favor or opposed to constitutional amendment under the Abe administration?

 

In favor

25

Opposed

58

 

Q: Do you think public debate on the issue of constitutional amendment is vigorous?

 

Very vigorous

1

Somewhat vigorous

15

Not very vigorous

57

Not at all vigorous

25

 

Q: The Constitution guarantees equality between men and women. To what extent do you think this has been translated into reality?

 

Almost fully

6

Somewhat

47

Not very much

37

Hardly at all

8

 

Q: Do you think that it would be good if there were more female Diet members?

 

Yes

53

No

37

 

Q: Are you in favor or opposed to amending the law so that married couples are free to decide to use the same or different last names?

 

Yes

47

No

46

 

Q: Do you think that same-sex marriage should be recognized under the law?

 

Yes

46

No

40

 

Q: The Constitution guarantees freedom of expression, including freedom of assembly and freedom of speech. To what extent do you think this has been translated into reality?

 

Almost fully

16

Somewhat

58

Not very much

20

Hardly at all

3

 

Q: The Broadcasting Act stipulates “ensuring freedom of expression” as its purpose and states basic principles, including that “broadcasting is to be politically fair.” Do you think it is appropriate for the government to decide whether a television station’s broadcasts are politically fair and order the suspension of broadcasting operations, by citing the Broadcasting Act?

 

Yes

18

No

75

 

Polling methodology: The survey was implemented by sending questionnaires by postal mail to a total of 3,000 persons chosen from among the nation’s voting population on a stratified two-stage random sampling basis. A total of 338 voting blocs were selected so as to represent the nation’s electorate at large, and nine persons were picked on average from each voting bloc’s register. The questionnaires were sent out on March 16 and were completed and sent back by a total of 2,077 persons by April 25. Valid answers were received from 2,010 persons, excluding answer sheets with many questions left blank and answer sheets filled out by those not subject to the survey. The retrieval rate was 67%.

 

In the breakdown of respondents, men accounted for 47% and women for 52%, and questionnaires with gender unspecified for 1%. Those in their 20s accounted for 8%, 30s for 14%, 40s for 18%, 50s for 16%, 60s for 21%, 70s for 16%, and 80 and over for 7%.

 

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