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Abe cabinet support at 42%, nonsupport at 39%, NHK public opinion poll

According to the NHK public opinion survey [for the month of September], 42% of pollees support the Abe cabinet, up 1 percentage point from the previous month. Those saying they do not support the cabinet dropped by 2 points to reach 39%.


The nationwide survey was conducted by NHK from Sept. 15 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 1,215 of the 2,128 people polled. The valid response rate was 57%.


When asked why they support the Abe cabinet, 48% of respondents said “because it seems better than other cabinets” while 16% 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, 42% said “because the prime minister is untrustworthy,” 31% said “because nothing can be expected of its policy measures,” and 11% said “because other cabinets seem better.”    


Recently, Japan has been hit by a series of torrential rains, typhoons, earthquakes, and other natural disasters that have caused major damage. Asked if they are worried about natural disasters, 50% said they are “very worried,” 40% said they “somewhat worried,” 6% said they “are not very worried,” and 2% said they “are not worried at all.”


Hokkaido had an extended period of power outage after it was struck by an earthquake measuring 7 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale. Asked if they are personally prepared for such a blackout, 30% said they “are prepared and were prepared before the recent earthquake,” 10% said they “made preparations after the recent earthquake,” and 57% said they “still have not made preparations.”


Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met with Chinese President Xi Jinping, and arrangements are underway for Abe to visit China next month. Asked if they are optimistic that the exchange of visits between their nations’ leaders will lead to a true improvement of ties, 6% said they are “very optimistic,” 31% said they are “somewhat optimistic,” 41% said they are “not very optimistic,” and 15% said they are “not optimistic at all.”


The Liberal Democratic Party presidential election will be held on Sept. 20, and the poll asked respondents about their level of interest. Some 19% said they are “very interested” and 44% said they are “somewhat interested” while 24% said they are “not very interested” and 9% said they are “not interested at all.”


Prime Minister Abe has said he would like to accelerate debate within the LDP on constitutional amendments so that the LDP proposal can be submitted to the extraordinary Diet session this autumn. Asked if the draft should be submitted, 18% said “yes,” 32% said “there is no need to submit a proposal,” and 40% said they “can’t say either way.”


The question of how to cooperate with other members of the opposition camp was one of the focal issues in the election to determine the next leader of Democratic Party for the People (DPFP). Asked if the DPFP should promote collaboration with other opposition parties with an eye toward the Upper House election next year, some 31% said “yes,” 15% said “there is no need to do so,” and 43% said they “can’t say either way.”


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