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POLITICS

Highlights of the December 2017 Jiji Press Public Opinion Poll

Questions & answers (%)

Figures in parentheses denote the results of the survey conducted on Nov. 10–13 (middle column) and the survey conducted on Oct. 6–9 (right column).

 

Q: The date of the abdication of Emperor Akihito has been decided, and Crown Prince Naruhito will become the new Emperor in 2019. Article 1 of the Constitution stipulates that the Emperor derives “his position from the will of the people.” [Article 3 provides that “the advice and approval of the Cabinet shall be required for all acts of the Emperor in matters of state,” while Article 4 stipulates that “the Emperor shall perform only such acts in matters of state as are provided for in this Constitution.”] This means that a ceremony where it could appear the Emperor is transferring the Imperial throne at his own volition could be seen as in violation of the Constitution. For this reason, there will likely be debate over whether the abdication ceremony should be designated as a “state act.” Do you think the abdication ceremony should be designated as a state act? Select only one from the responses below.

 

Yes

69.5

No

14.6

Either way + Don’t know

15.9

 

Q: With the change in Emperor, the era name will also be changed. The era system originated in ancient China and was introduced into Japan in the seventh century. Since the Meiji period, Japan has adopted the system of one era name per Emperor. It is said that Japan is the only nation in the world that maintains an era system, and some say that it is cumbersome to use both the Western calendar and the era system. What are your views on the era system? Select only one from the responses below.

 

 

The era system should be maintained

66.3

Japan should use the Western calendar only

25.9

Can’t say either way + Don’t know

7.7

 

Q: The Liberal Democratic Party’s Headquarters for the Promotion of Revision to the Constitution has proposed four constitutional amendments: adding provisions to Article 9 to give grounds for maintaining the Self-Defense Forces; creating a state-of-emergency clause to lengthen the terms of Diet members in the event of a large-scale natural disaster; making education free from early childhood education through higher education; and eliminating “combined constituencies” in the Upper House elections. Meanwhile, some opposition parties say that such issues as limiting the right of the cabinet to dissolve the Lower House and expanding the people’s right to know should be considered. Which items do you think should be prioritized in constitutional amendment? Select as many as you wish from the responses below.

 

Amending Article 9

20.8

Creating a state-of-emergency clause

28.3

Making education free

35.9

Eliminating “combined constituencies” in Upper House elections

8.2

Limiting the right of the cabinet to dissolve the Lower House

13.8

Expanding the people’s right to know

36.0

Other item

1.1

Am opposed to amending the Constitution

8.0

Don’t know

13.8

 

Q: It is said that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will promptly compile LDP amendment proposals, submit them at the January 2018 ordinary session, and aim to initiate constitutional amendment at the Diet during that same session. Do you support this?

 

Yes

20.9

No

51.3

Am opposed to constitutional amendment from the beginning

17.1

Don’t know

10.7

 

Q: How has your standard of living changed compared with this time last year?

 

 

Dec.

(Nov.)

(Oct.)

It has improved greatly

0.3

(0.5)

(0.6)

It has improved somewhat

5.2

(4.8)

(4.3)

It has not changed

72.6

(73.1)

(76.2)

It has worsened somewhat

19.8

(20.1)

(16.3)

It has worsened greatly

1.8

(1.3)

(1.9)

Don’t know

0.2

(0.2)

(0.7)

 

Q: Do you think commodity prices have stabilized, will go up in the future, or will go down from now?

 

 

Dec.

(Nov.)

(Oct.)

They have stabilized

13.4

(14.5)

(17.8)

They will go up in the future

75.0

(72.6)

(67.1)

They will go down from now

2.6

(3.4)

(3.5)

Don’t know

9.0

(9.4)

(11.5)

 

Q: How do you view the economy? Compared with last month, has it improved, remained the same, or worsened?

 

 

Dec.

(Nov.)

(Oct.)

It has definitely improved

0.5

(0.2)

(0.5)

It has improved somewhat

9.4

(10.2)

(8.4)

It has remained the same

66.7

(67.6)

(68.6)

It has worsened somewhat

16.5

(15.7)

(15.4)

It has definitely worsened

1.5

(1.7)

(1.6)

Don’t know

5.3

(4.6)

(5.5)

 

Q: Do you think your lifestyle will improve or worsen in the future?

 

 

Dec.

(Nov.)

(Oct.)

It will improve

9.3

(9.4)

(9.1)

It will remain the same

53.1

(54.4)

(52.7)

It will worsen

31.7

(29.9)

(30.7)

Don’t know

5.8

(6.2)

(7.5)

 

Q: Name up to three countries that you like.

 

 

Dec.

(Nov.)

(Oct.)

United States of America

37.9

(40.2)

(40.3)

Russia

1.2

(2.5)

(2.3)

United Kingdom

37.4

(38.2)

(38.4)

France

35.5

(33.3)

(35.0)

Germany

33.0

(33.3)

(31.0)

Switzerland

37.2

(36.2)

(40.7)

India

6.8

(7.1)

(7.0)

China

2.2

(1.8)

(2.3)

South Korea

5.8

(4.7)

(4.8)

North Korea

0.2

(0.1)

(0.1)

None/Don’t know

21.4

(20.1)

(18.9)

             Simple total

218.5

(217.4)

(220.7)

 

Q: Name up to three countries that you dislike.

 

 

Dec.

(Nov.)

(Oct.)

United States of America

6.5

(3.7)

(5.8)

Russia

18.9

(19.8)

(19.8)

United Kingdom

0.9

(0.5)

(0.7)

France

0.4

(0.5)

(0.2)

Germany

1.3

(0.6)

(0.8)

Switzerland

0.3

(0.4)

(0.5)

India

2.3

(3.2)

(2.6)

China

60.5

(60.1)

(61.5)

South Korea

38.4

(41.3)

(37.4)

North Korea

86.9

(85.1)

(87.6)

None/Don’t know

7.6

(9.0)

(8.0)

             Simple total

224.0

(224.2)

(225.0)

 

Q: Which country or region do you think will become important for Japan as a bilateral relationship over the next five years? Select up to three from the below.

 

 

Dec.

(Nov.)

(Oct.)

United States of America

74.1

(74.8)

(75.0)

Canada

2.6

(3.8)

(2.4)

Russia

15.2

(17.1)

(21.1)

Other FSU (former Soviet Union)

1.2

(0.6)

(1.0)

Europe

12.6

(11.3)

(14.1)

India

16.5

(14.9)

(14.1)

China

58.4

(57.6)

(50.8)

Taiwan

4.9

(5.0)

(5.2)

South Korea

14.6

(14.9)

(14.1)

North Korea

15.9

(13.6)

(16.4)

Southeast Asia 

14.2

(14.9)

(15.9)

Latin America

1.4

(1.3)

(1.7)

Middle East

4.3

(3.9)

(2.5)

Africa

3.7

(3.5)

(4.5)

Oceania

1.7

(1.3)

(1.5)

Don’t know

8.0

(8.3)

(9.1)

             Simple total

249.3

(246.7)

(249.3)

 

Polling methodology (December 2017): The survey was conducted over the four-day period of Dec. 8–11 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 on a stratified two-stage random-sampling basis. Valid responses were received from 1,257 people for a valid response rate of 62.9%.

 

Polling methodology (November 2017): The survey was conducted over the four-day period of Nov. 10–13 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 on a stratified two-stage random-sampling basis. Valid responses were received from 1,260 people for a valid response rate of 63.0%.

 

Polling methodology (October 2017): The survey was conducted over the four-day period of Oct. 6–9 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 on a stratified two-stage random-sampling basis. Valid responses were received from 1,301 people for a valid response rate of 65.1%.

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