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56% “approve” of delaying the tax hike, cabinet support rate at 45%, Asahi poll

  • June 6, 2016
  • , Asahi , Lead story
  • Translation

Ahead of the Upper House election (to be announced on June 22; voting on July 10), the Asahi Shimbun conducted the first of its telephone-based pre-election serial public opinion surveys on June 4–5. Those approving of Prime Minister Abe’s decision to postpone the tax hike for two and a half years surpassed those disapproving, 56% to 34%. When asked if they were persuaded by the reason Abe gave for the delay, namely, that “the world economy faces great risks,” 28% said “yes” whereas 58% said “no.”


With the revision of the Public Offices Election Act, the voting age will be lowered from age 20 to age 18 starting from the July Upper House elections. In response, Asahi Shimbun surveys will target those aged 18 or over starting from this poll.


A year and a half ago when Prime Minister Shinzo Abe decided to delay the consumption tax hike for the first time, he said, “The consumption tax hike will not be postponed again. I give you my word.” In light of this earlier statement by Abe, pollees were asked whether they thought it was a major problem that the prime minister had not kept his promise. Some 37% said “yes” while 53% said “no.”


Looking at the assessment of the tax hike delay by group, 70% of cabinet supporters indicated that they approve of the delay, and 71% of Liberal Democratic Party supporters and 51% of Democratic Party supporters said the same. Turning to independents, 48% indicated they approve while 39% said they do not.


Asked if they were persuaded by the reason Abe gave for the postponement, 45% of cabinet supporters, 44% of LDP supporters, and 65% of independents said “no.”


Some 72% of cabinet supporters and 70% of LDP supporters said that “it is not a major problem” that the prime minister did not keep the promise he made a year and a half ago regarding the consumption tax hike. The views of independents, though, were split on this matter with 45% saying that “it is a major problem” and 43% saying it is not.


When asked how they view the Abe cabinet’s economic policies, a total of 55% of respondents indicated they view them “highly,” including both “very highly” and “somewhat highly,” whereas a total of 41% indicated they view them “not highly,” including both “not very highly” and “not highly at all.”



The cabinet support rate was 45% (43% in the regular monthly survey for May [conducted May 21–22] targeting only those age 20 or over), and the nonsupport rate was 34% (33%).

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