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83% of Japanese concerned about Trump’s “America first” stance, Kyodo News poll

Some 83.8% of Japanese people “are concerned” that the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump could create global instability, according to a Kyodo News survey conducted Jan. 28–29. Only 13.1% of respondents in the nationwide telephone survey said they are “not concerned” about the administration of Trump, who was sworn in on Jan. 20 and has pushed an “America first” agenda.


On other key issues, 63.3% said they favored the revision of the Imperial Household Law to establish a permanent system to allow future emperors as well as Emperor Akihito to abdicate rather than special one-off legislation, while 26.9% supported the government’s plan for one-off legislation.


The support rating for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s cabinet stood at 59.6%, up 4.8 percentage points from the previous survey conducted in December last year. The disapproval rating stood at 27.2%.


Regarding Japan-U.S. ties, 54.6% of the respondents said relations “will deteriorate,” 34.4% said bilateral ties “will remain the same,” and 4.5% said they “will improve.” In the November 2016 poll taken after Trump won the U.S. presidential election, only 37.0% said relations “will deteriorate.”


At the bilateral summit to be held in February, there is a chance that President Trump will ask Japan to negotiate a bilateral trade deal. In the latest survey, 52.6% favored pursuing a bilateral trade deal with the United States, while 36.4% said there is no need.


Of the respondents, 73.8% said the eligibility of females and members of female imperial branches to ascend the throne as well as allowing female members to remain within the imperial family after marriage should be discussed, while 21.1% said there was no need for such discussion.


As for a bill criminalizing conspiracy to commit terrorism, 42.6% said they were in favor while 40.7% were not. On changing the Constitution while Abe is in office, pollees were split with 45.0% expressing opposition and 43.7% expressing support.


The survey also found that 48.3% believe the Abe’s administration is ultimately responsible for a scandal over the education ministry illegally helping a senior official to land a post-retirement job, while 43.9% do not.


The political party support rates were as follows: Liberal Democratic Party, 42.5%, up 1.3 points from the previous poll; Democratic Party, 7.3%, down 2.3 points; Komeito, 3.6%; Japanese Communist Party, 4.2%; Nippon Ishin (Japan Innovation Party), 4.2%; Liberal Party, 0.1%; Social Democratic Party, 1.3%; Party for Japanese Kokoro, 0.5%; independents, 35.0%.


[Polling methodology: The survey was conducted by telephone on a computer-aided random digit dialing (RDD) basis on Jan. 28–29 targeting voters across the nation. However, the survey excluded some areas in Fukushima Prefecture. Among randomly generated telephone numbers, those actually for household use with one or more eligible voters totaled 1,449. Valid responses were obtained from 1,010 persons.]


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