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Many opposed to extension of Abe’s term as LDP president, Nikkei spot poll

When asked if they approve of the extension of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s term as president of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), 45% of respondents to the [Nikkei Inc./TV Tokyo] spot public opinion poll said they are opposed and 41% indicated they are in favor. Slightly under 70% of LDP supporters and 60% of Komeito supporters said they are “in favor.” Abe’s term as LDP president currently runs until September 2018.


Some 40% of respondents said that they “approve” of the cabinet reshuffle and the new LDP leadership lineup announced on Aug. 3, while 34% said they “do not approve.” As many as 27% said that they approve because the new cabinet and party leadership “seem stable.” Some 28% of those disapproving said that they felt that way because “many Diet members close to the prime minister were appointed.”


When asked which policies the cabinet should place priority on, 51% of pollees said social security reform, including pensions, 37% said economic measures, and 27% said diplomacy and security policies. It is rare for diplomacy and security to rank so highly; this is thought to reflect growing concern regarding China and North Korea. Constitutional amendment was low in the list of priorities at 11%.


Some 24% of respondents thought that the government’s economic measures worth about 28 trillion yen in public works projects would lead to economic recovery while 61% thought otherwise.


The public opinion poll found that the support rate for the LDP was 41%, a drop of 5 percentage points from the July survey. There is a chance that the support rate was impacted by the confusion surrounding the Tokyo gubernatorial election. Support for the Democratic Party rose 1 point to 12%. The support ratings for other parties were as follows: Komeito: 5%; Japanese Communist Party: 5%; Initiatives from Osaka: 3%; Social Democratic Party: 1%; People’s Life Party: 0%; and Party for Japanese Kokoro: 0%. Those identifying as independents rose by 2 points to 26%.


[Polling methodology: The telephone poll was conducted on Aug. 9–11 by Nikkei Research Inc. of men and women, aged 18 and over, nationwide on a random digit dialing (RDD) basis. A total of 1,016 valid responses were received for a response rate of 45.2%.]

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