The May 2017 public opinion poll conducted by Jiji Press found that almost half of pollees (48.1%) are opposed to Japan’s acquiring “the capability to strike enemy bases” whereby Japan would be able to attack enemy missile bases before it is subjected to a missile attack by that enemy. Some 38.3% were in favor of Japan’s gaining the capability. Some in the Liberal Democratic Party seek to have the government consider acquiring the capability with an eye to responding to ballistic missiles from North Korea, which is posing an increasing threat.
The government has said that North Korea’s nuclear and missile development represents “a new level of threat,” although it has no plan at present to gain the capability of attacking enemy bases.
When asked for their views on the U.S.’s tough stance in relation to North Korea, including the exercise of military strength, a total of over 60% of pollees evaluated it positively, with 18.5% saying they “very much approve” and 47.4% saying they “somewhat approve.” Meanwhile, 21.7% said that they “do not approve very much,” and 5.5% say that they “do not approve at all.”
[The survey was conducted over the four-day period of May 12–15 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 64.6%.]