In its nationwide survey conducted on Oct. 23–24 following the Lower House election on Oct. 22, the Asahi Shimbun asked respondents for their views on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s constitutional revision plan to define the legal status of the Self-Defense Forces in war-renouncing Article 9. Some 45% of the respondents expressed opposition while 36% supported such an amendment.
Though 45% of all the respondents said that they oppose the revision, the figure was only 34% among those between 18 and 29 years old. That figure was below the 49% in the same age group who support the revision. In all other age brackets, the ratio of opponents exceeded that of supporters. In particular, among respondents in their 60s, as many as 54% were opposed to the revision and only 27% supported it. By gender, 45% of male respondents supported the revision. Among female respondents, the support rate was only 28%.
By political parties they support, 63% of supporters of the conservative LDP said that they support the revision, while 22% replied that they oppose the plan. Among respondents who support the new left-leaning Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDPJ), the ratio of opponents was as high as 88%, and that of supporters only 8%. Among respondents who do not support any political party, the ratio of opponents stood at 44% while that of supporters was 21%.
Of all the respondents who support the revision, 51% said that they voted for the LDP in the proportional representation portion of the Oct. 22 Lower House election. On the other hand, 34% of the respondents who oppose the revision replied that they voted for the CDPJ, and 12% said that they voted for the LDP.
Voters were asked why they approve or disapprove of the Abe cabinet and given four options. The most frequent reason given for supporting the cabinet was “because it seems better than the others” at 44%, followed by “because of its policies” at 24%. The most frequent reason given for not supporting the cabinet was “because of its policies” at 36%, followed by “because the prime minister is Mr. Abe” at 27%.
[Polling methodology: The survey was conducted from the evening of Oct. 23 through the night of Oct. 24 on a computer-aided random digit dialing (RDD) basis of voters nationwide with telephone calls placed by pollsters to landline and mobile phone numbers (for landlines, some districts in Fukushima Prefecture were excluded). Valid responses were received from 559 persons (out of 1,111 households found to have one or more eligible voters) for landline numbers and from 574 persons (out of the 1,019 persons found to be eligible voters) for mobile numbers. The valid response rates were 50% for landline numbers and 56% for mobile numbers.]