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43% say “political parties should reach consensus” before Diet initiates constitutional amendments, Nihon Yoron Chosakai poll

In advance of the Upper House election and the unified local elections scheduled for this summer, Nihon Yoron Chosakai conducted a nationwide survey on Dec. 8–9, 2018, through face-to-face interviews. Asked about the timing and pros and cons of the Diet initiating constitutional amendment, 43% of respondents said that “it would be best for a broad consensus to be formed among the political parties without setting a certain deadline” for the initiation of amendments. As for the Upper House election this summer, voters were split about whether it would be good for pro-revisionists to continue to hold more than two-thirds of the seats in both houses of the Diet, which is the requirement for initiating constitutional amendment. Some 45% of respondents said that “it would be good if LDP and Komeito Diet members and others in favor of constitutional amendment under the Abe administration continued to hold two-thirds or more of the seats” after the election, while 47% said “it would be good if they were not to continue to hold a two-thirds majority.”


Respondents were split on the consumption tax hike, which the government plans to implement in October this year. Some 39% of respondents said that raising the consumption tax to 10% “should be implemented as scheduled,” while 33% said that the tax hike “should not be implemented” and 25% said that the hike “should be postponed.” The survey suggests that voters are divided on both constitutional amendment and the consumption tax hike.


Some 53% of respondents said that “it would be good if the ruling and opposition parties were evenly matched” as a result of the Upper House poll, easily exceeding the 30% who said that “it would be good if the ruling parties continued to hold a majority.” Some 10% said that “it would be good if the opposition parties gained a majority” as a result of the summer election.


Note: Figures have been rounded off.


[Polling methodology: The survey was implemented on Dec. 8–9, 2018, based on face-to-face interviews conducted by pollsters. A total of 3,000 men and women aged 18 or over were randomly selected nationwide from 250 locations on a stratified two-stage random-sampling basis to create a cross-section of Japan’s more than 100 million voters. Responses were received from 1,561 people, excluding those who could not be interviewed due to relocation or travel. The valid response rate was 52.0%. Composition of respondents was as follows: men, 48.2%; women, 51.8%.


Sections of Fukushima Prefecture heavily impacted by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake were excluded from the survey pool.


Nihon Yoron Chosakai is a nationwide public opinion polling entity managed by Kyodo News and comprising 38 of its subscribers including the Tokyo Shimbun.]

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