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69% opposed to allowing casinos in Japan, Kyodo News poll

  • December 19, 2016
  • , Tokyo Shimbun , p. 3
  • JMH Translation

The nationwide telephone public opinion survey conducted on Dec. 17–18 by Kyodo News asked respondents whether they are in favor of ending the ban on casinos in Japan, in light of the passage of the law to promote the development of integrated resorts (IR), particularly casinos. Some 24.6% said they are “in favor” of creating casinos in Japan while 69.6% said they are “opposed.” Meanwhile, 38.7% of pollees said that they “approve” of the recent Japan-Russia summit while 54.3% said otherwise. The cabinet support rate was 54.8%, down 5.9 percentage points from the previous survey taken in November. The nonsupport rate was 34.1%.


The decline in the cabinet approval rating is thought to reflect the rush by the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and other pro-casino parties to pass the casino bill during the recent extraordinary Diet session and the fact that no progress was made on the Northern Territories issue during the Dec. 15–16 Japan-Russia summit.


When asked how they would feel if a plan were proposed to build a casino in the area where they live, 21.9% of respondents said “it would be okay to build the casino” while 75.3% said that “it would be better not to build the casino,” a significant spread. Some 43.4% of pollees said that they “are hopeful” that progress will be made on the Northern Territories issue while 53.8% said otherwise.


In light of the fact that a U.S. military Osprey tilt-rotor transport aircraft was badly damaged in an accident off the coast of Okinawa recently, the poll asked respondents for their views on deployment of the aircraft in Japan. Some 66.8% of respondents said that the deployment of Ospreys “should be reviewed” while only 28.0% said that it “is okay for Ospreys to continue to be deployed.”


Meanwhile, 37.8% of pollees said that it is “good” that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement and its related bills were approved at the extraordinary session of the Diet while 45.3% said that it is “not good.” Some 36.1% said that it is “good” that the pension system reform legislation, which provides for curbing pension disbursements, was passed, while 54.8% said that it is “not good.” A full 85.3% of respondents said that they approve of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s trip late this month to Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, while 10.9% said they “disapprove.”


The political party support rates were as follows: LDP – 41.2%, down 3.7 points from the previous poll; Democratic Party (DP) – 9.6%; Komeito – 5.1%; Japanese Communist Party (JCP) – 4.1%; Nippon Ishin (Japan Innovation Party) – 3.4%; Liberal Party – 0.4%; Social Democratic Party – 0.8%; Party for Japanese Kokoro – 0.8%; independents: 33.9%.


60% of LDP supporters are opposed to casinos


LDP supporters opposed to casinos vastly exceeded those in favor, 60.6% to 33.4%. The poll also revealed that opposition party supporters continue to be opposed to integrated resorts with over 70% of DP and Komeito supporters expressing disagreement.


Looking at opposition to casinos by political party supported: 89.8% of DP supporters are opposed to casinos as are 79.7% of Komeito and 93.6% of JCP supporters. Even among supporters of Nippon Ishin, which is pro-casino, those opposed exceeded those in favor, 53.4% to 46.6%. By gender, 35.4% of men and 14.5% of women are in favor of having casinos in Japan.


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