According to the November Jiji Press opinion poll conducted on Nov. 10–13, some 47.4% of respondents are opposed to assigning “rush-to-the-rescue [kaketsuke keigo]” missions to Ground Self-Defense Forces dispatched to South Sudan to participate in United Nations peacekeeping operations (PKO). Only 28.2% said they approve of the new assignment while some 24.5% said they “don’t know.”
With the coming into force of the security legislation in March, rush-to-the-rescue missions are now permissible, and the assignment of such duties was approved by the cabinet on Nov. 15. The poll results reveal people’s concern that SDF personnel will be exposed to more danger with the expansion of their duties.
The support rating for the Abe cabinet increased 1.6 percentage points from last month to surpass the 50% mark for the first time in two months and reach 51.0%. The high rating is thought to be due to the public’s positive assessment of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s prompt action after the U.S. presidential election, including calling President-elect Donald Trump on Nov. 10. The nonsupport rate for the Abe cabinet decreased to 28.0%, down 2.0 percentage points.
The survey was conducted over the four-day period of November 10–13 through individual interviews. For the survey, a total of 2,000 people were sampled from among men and women, aged 18 and over, across the nation. The valid response rate was 62.0%.