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Views split on U.S.-DPRK summit, Yomiuri poll

In the Yomiuri Shimbun’s nationwide public opinion poll conducted on June 15–17, pollees were divided in their assessment of the U.S.-DPRK summit held on June 12. Some 43% said they “approve” of this first-ever U.S.-DPRK summit while 47% said they do not. It is thought that this split in view is due to the fact that the two leaders confirmed the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula but the timing and concrete steps to reach the goal were not indicated.


The majority of respondents took a harsh view on the outlook for North Korean issues. Only 24% said that they think the nuclear weapon and missile programs will head toward resolution while 64% thought otherwise. At the U.S.-DPRK summit, U.S. President Donald Trump raised the issue of the abduction of Japanese nationals by North Korea. Only 19% said, though, that the issue will head toward resolution because of this, while 73% said it will not.


Some 42% said they “approve” of Prime Minister Abe’s diplomatic work in relation to North Korea, while 47% said they do not. Those thinking it wise to move forward with holding a summit exceeded those who preferred a cautious approach. Some 51% said that “Japan should hold a summit with North Korea as soon as possible,” up from the 41% in the previous poll (conducted on May 18–20). Meanwhile, 45% said “the matter should be considered with caution” (55%).


Asked if the international community should place more importance on dialogue with North Korea or on pressure, including economic sanctions, to resolve the issue of North Korea’s nuclear weapons tests and missile launches, 48% said “dialogue” (48%) and 39% said “pressure” (41%).


The Abe cabinet support rate rose slightly to 45% (42%). Nonsupport was 44% (47%). This is the second month in a row that the support rate has risen and the first time in about three months, since the March 9–11 poll, that the cabinet support rate exceeded the nonsupport rate.


The political party support rates were as follows: LDP, 38% (previous poll: 37%) and Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, 6% (7%). A full 44% said they do not support any party (42%).


[Polling methodology: The nationwide survey was conducted on June 15–17 on a computer-aided random digit dialing (RDD) basis and targeted voters aged 18 or over with calls placed to landline and mobile phone numbers. Valid responses were received from a total of 1,090 persons, including 527 persons (out of the 891 households with one or more eligible voters) for landline numbers and 563 persons (out of the 1,201 persons who answered) for mobile numbers. The valid response rates were 59% for landline numbers and 47% for mobile numbers.]

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