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%.]