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OPINION POLLS

62% unconvinced by Abe’s explanation of Moritomo Gakuen scandal, Kyodo News spot poll

  • March 27, 2017
  • , Tokyo Shimbun , p. 2
  • JMH Translation

According to the nationwide telephone-based spot public opinion poll conducted by Kyodo News on March 25–26, some 62.6% of respondents said they “are not convinced” by the prime minister’s explanation that he and his wife were not involved in the sale of state-owned land to Osaka-based Moritomo Gakuen school corporation, greatly surpassing the 28.7% who said they “are convinced.” Meanwhile, 52.0% said Akie should be summoned to the Diet to give an explanation, while 42.8% thought that was not necessary. The support rate for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s cabinet dipped 3.3 percentage points from the March 11–12 poll to 52.4%. The disapproval rating for Abe’s cabinet stood at 32.5%.

 

The support rate fell by 9.3 points compared to the poll conducted on Feb. 12–13. This suggests that the public is not convinced by the prime minister’s and others’ explanations related to the Moritomo scandal.

 

Regarding the bill to change the structural elements of “conspiracy” by revising the Act on Punishment of Organized Crimes, 38.8% were in favor and 40.0% were opposed. In the previous poll conducted (March 11–12) prior to the cabinet’s approval of the bill, 33.0% were in favor of the bill. The most recent poll thus marks a 5.8-point rise in those who support the bill.

 

Some 82.5% said they “do not think” the government’s explanations of the heavily discounted sale of state-owned land to Moritomo Gakuen have been sufficient. Yasunori Kagoike, who has announced his resignation as head of Moritomo Gakuen school corporation, testified at the Diet that he received a donation of 1 million yen from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s wife, Akie. When asked if they accept Prime Minister Abe’s denial of the donation, 58.7% said no while 30.2% said yes.

 

Pollees were given an explanation of the Diet’s consensus opinion which will serve as the core of the enactment of a special law to allow abdication by the current emperor, and then they were asked whether they support the law. Some 56.2% said they are in favor of the special law while 34.9% said otherwise.

 

When asked if they think Defense Minister Tomomi Inada is responsible for the handling of the daily activity logs for the Ground Self-Defense Forces (GSDF) units dispatched to South Sudan to participate in the United Nations peacekeeping operations (PKO), which the Defense Ministry said had been destroyed but the GSDF had retained, some 58.5% said yes and 31.0% said no.

 

[Polling methodology: The survey was conducted by telephone on a computer-aided random digit dialing (RDD) basis on March 25–26 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 1,460. Valid responses were obtained from 1,018 persons.]

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