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38% support cabinet while 44% do not, NHK public opinion poll

According to the NHK public opinion survey [for the month of May], some 38% of pollees support the Abe cabinet, the same as in the poll conducted the previous month. Those saying they do not support the cabinet inched down by 1 percentage point from the previous month to reach 44%. For the second month in a row, the nonsupport rate exceeded the support rate. 


The nationwide survey was conducted by NHK from May 11 over three days on a computer-aided random digit dialing (RDD) basis and targeted men and women aged 18 or over with calls placed to landline and mobile phone numbers. Valid responses were received from a total of 1,330 persons out of the 2,187 people polled. The valid response rate was 61%.


When asked why they support the Abe cabinet, 49% of respondents said “because it seems better than other cabinets” while 18% said “because it takes action” and 14% said “because the cabinet is led by the political party I support.”


Asked why they do not support the cabinet, 47% said “because the prime minister is untrustworthy,” 25% said “because nothing can be expected of its policy measures,” and 8% said “because the cabinet is led by a political party I do not support.” 


The inter-Korean summit took place at the end of last month, and pollees were asked for their views on the outcomes. Some 10% of respondents said they “heartily welcome the outcomes of the summit” and 51% said they “welcome them somewhat” while 21% said they “do not welcome them very much” and 9% said they “do not welcome them at all.”


Some 22% of all respondents said the April inter-Korean summit and next month’s first-ever U.S.-DPRK summit “will lead” to the resolution of North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile development issues.  Meanwhile, 25% said they “will not,” and 45% said they “can’t say either way.”


Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met with his counterparts in the United States, China, and South Korea and confirmed that he will work hand in hand with them for the denuclearization of North Korea. Some 12% of respondents said they “heartily support this” and 53% said they “somewhat support this” while 23% said they “do not support this very much” and 5% said they are “do not support this at all.”


Prime Minister Abe has indicated he plans to aim to normalize diplomatic ties with North Korea by comprehensively resolving the pending issues of the abductions, nuclear weapons, and missiles based on the 2002 Japan-DPRK Pyongyang Declaration. Asked if they back this, 11% said they “heartily back it” and 50% said they “back it somewhat” while 25% said they “do not back it very much” and 6% said they “do not back it at all.”


In his sworn testimony in the Diet, Tadao Yanase, former executive secretary to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, said in relation to Kake Educational Institution’s plan to create a veterinary school: “I met with the Kake representatives and Ehime Prefecture and Imabari City officials may have attended. I never said, though, that the project was ‘a matter related to the prime minister’ nor did I report to him [the outcomes of the meetings].” Asked if they are satisfied with Yanase‘s explanation, 2% said they are “very satisfied” and 9% said they are “somewhat satisfied” while 30% said they “are not very satisfied” and 49% said that they are “not satisfied at all.”


The ruling parties say that the Diet testimony has brought a certain degree of closure to the Kake scandal, but the opposition parties are saying their suspicions have grown and they are calling for all individuals involved in the scandal to be called to the Diet as sworn witnesses. Some 47% of pollees said that related parties “should be summoned” to the Diet as sworn witnesses, while 18% said that is “not necessary” and 26% said they “can’t say either way.”


Asked for their views on the Democratic Party for the People (DPFP), which was formed by the Democratic Party and the Party of Hope, 8% said that they are “optimistic” about the new party while 50% said they are “not optimistic” and 34% said they “can’t say either way.”


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