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OPINION POLLS

63% “approve” of postponement of consumption tax hike, Yomiuri poll

In the nationwide public opinion poll conducted on June 3–5 by the Yomiuri Shimbun, 63% of respondents said that they “approve” of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s decision to postpone raising the consumption tax hike, originally scheduled for April 2017, for two and a half years. Only 31% of pollees said they “disapprove.” When Prime Minister Abe announced the first delay of the tax hike in November 2014, he stated that he would not postpone it again. Nonetheless, 65% of respondents said that they thought the postponement was not a violation of campaign pledges, outdistancing the 30% who said it was.

 

In the previous poll (conducted May 13–15), some 69% of pollees said that “the tax hike should be postponed.” Similarly, many respondents in this survey approved of the postponement. From this, it is thought that few see the delay as a violation of campaign pledges.

 

On the other hand, over half (54%) of respondents said that they “are concerned” that the delay in the implementation of the consumption tax hike will hinder social security policy. The entire increase in tax revenues with the hike was to be allocated to social security, including childrearing support and reduction of the nursing-care insurance premiums of low-income persons. As a result, it seems that a considerable percentage of pollees are anxious about the impact of the delay.

 

Respondents were evenly divided on their assessment of the Abe cabinet’s economic policies, with 44% viewing them favorably and 44% seeing them unfavorably.

 

The support rating for the Abe cabinet was 53%, the same as in the previous poll when it was bolstered by U.S. President Barack Obama’s decision to visit Hiroshima. The nonsupport rate was 35% (previous survey: 34%). Some 63% had a positive impression of Prime Minister Abe’s chairmanship of the G7 Summit (Ise-Shima Summit).

 

As many as 95% of pollees said they had a “positive view” of President Obama’s visit to Hiroshima.

 

Looking at the political party support rates, 40% of pollees said that they supported the Liberal Democratic Party (previous poll: 37%); 6%, the Democratic Party (previous poll: 6%); and 3%, the Komeito (previous poll: 3%). Some 44% (previous poll: 47%) said that they had no affiliation with a particular political party.

 

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