print PRINT

POLITICS

Opinion poll & results from Kyodo News survey on the Constitution

  • April 11, 2019
  • , Tokyo Shimbun , p. 7
  • JMH Translation

Questions & answers (%)

 

Q1: May 3 will mark the 72nd anniversary of the Constitution of Japan taking effect.  Constitutional amendment is now being actively debated by the Diet and political parties. Are you interested in the issue of constitutional revision?

 

Interested

26

Somewhat interested

45

Not very interested

23

Not interested

5

No answer (N/A)

1

 

Q2: Do you think constitutional amendment is necessary? Or do you think it is not necessary?

 

Necessary

22

Generally necessary

41

Generally not necessary

25

Not necessary

11

N/A

1

 

Q3: (Only for those who said “necessary” or “generally necessary” in response to Q2) What is the main reason you think so? (Respondents: 1,214)

 

The articles and content of the Constitution are outdated

58

New rights and responsibilities as well as provisions need to be added

29

The Constitution was imposed on Japan by the United States

5

The Constitution has never even once been amended since its enactment

6

Other answers (O/A)

1

N/A

1

 

Q4: (Only for those who said “necessary” or “somewhat necessary” in response to Q2) What do you think should be the focus of deliberations on constitutional amendment? Select up to two responses.

 

Preamble of the Constitution

5

Clauses on the emperor system

10

Article 9 and the Self-Defense Forces (SDF)

52

Clause on fundamental human rights

11

Explicit statement of environmental rights

4

Explicit statement of the right to know and privacy

16

Parliamentary system, including whether Japan should have a unicameral or bicameral system

6

Electoral system, including eliminating “combined constituencies” in Upper House elections

5

Creation of basic principles for the decentralization of power and local autonomy

6

Creation of a constitutional court

2

Article 96, which provides the requirements for initiating constitutional amendment

4

Creation of a state-of-emergency clause for use in the event of a major natural disaster or the like

31

Creation of a clause on fiscal discipline

8

Improving education and making it free of charge

24

O/A

1

N/A

2

 

Q5: (Only for those who said “not necessary” or “generally not necessary” in response to Q2) What is the main reason you think so? (Respondents: 696)

 

Peace has been maintained by embracing the principle of the renunciation of war

40

If the Constitution were amended, there is a risk it would lead to a “military buildup”

32

If the Constitution were amended, fundamental human rights would be limited

5

There are no problems with the current Constitution

20

O/A

1

N/A

2

 

Q6: Do you think that Article 9, which stipulates that Japan “renounces war” and shall “never again maintain war potential,” needs to be amended? Or do you think that is not necessary?

 

Needs to be amended

45

Does not need to be amended

47

N/A

8

 

Q7: (Only for those who said “needs to be amended” in response to Q6) Why do you think Article 9 needs to be amended? (Respondents: 872)

 

Because some say the Self-Defense Forces are unconstitutional under the current Constitution

26

Because Japan’s security environment is changing with North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs and China’s military buildup

56

To enable the SDF to be more active overseas

6

Because this is necessary to enhance Japan’s alliance with the United States

1

To limit the SDF’s scope of activity to “strictly defensive national defense”

10

O/A

1

N/A

0

 

Q8: (Only for those who said “needs to be amended” in response to Q6) In the case that Article 9 were amended, what do you think needs to be most emphasized? (Respondents: 872)

 

Explicitly stating the existence of the current SDF

49

Explicitly stating that the SDF is a military

16

Creating provisions on the SDF’s international contribution

12

Creating provisions that limit the SDF’s activities overseas so that they are not expanded endlessly

21

O/A

1

N/A

1

 

Q9: Paragraph 2 of Article 9 states that Japan shall never again maintain land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential and that the right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has proposed that the existence of the SDF be explicitly stated in Article 9 while leaving paragraph 2 untouched. How do you think this should be handled?

 

The existence of the SDF should be explicitly stated while leaving paragraph 2 of Article 9 untouched

40

Paragraph 2 of Article 9 should be deleted and the purposes and nature of the SDF explicitly stated

29

There is no need to explicitly state the existence of the SDF in Article 9

27

N/A

4

 

Q10: Security legislation was enacted and enforced under the Abe administration. The legislation changes the conventional interpretation of the Constitution and allows Japan to exercise the right to collective self-defense to a certain degree. Some insist that the security legislation is unconstitutional. What are your views on this?

 

The security legislation is unconstitutional

41

The security legislation is not unconstitutional

52

N/A

7

 

Q11: Some say that “free education and enhancement of education” should be explicitly stated in the Constitution. What are your views on this? 

 

The Constitution should be amended to incorporate free education and the enhancement of education

30

There is no need to amend the Constitution because the issues of free education and enhancing education can be handled through legislation

68

N/A

2

 

Q12: In the constitutional amendment debate, there is a proposal to strengthen the powers of the cabinet and create a clause that makes it possible to limit individual freedoms, including freedom of movement, to respond to emergency situations, such as large-scale natural disasters and armed attacks from outside. Are you in favor of or opposed to this?

 

In favor

44

Opposed

53

N/A

3

 

Q13: In the event of a state of emergency, there is a chance that it will not be possible to hold Lower House and Upper House elections and that the legislative branch may not function. A proposal is being considered to make it possible to lengthen the terms of Diet members, which are stipulated in the Constitution as “four years for the Lower House” and “six years for the Upper House.” Are you in favor of or opposed to this?

 

In favor

34

Opposed

63

N/A

3

 

Q14: Since the July 2016 Upper House election, “combined constituencies” have been used where “Tottori and Shimane Prefectures” are made into a single constituency as are “Tokushima and Kochi Prefectures.” To eliminate “combined constituencies,” the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) is considering a proposal to amend the Constitution so that one or more Upper House delegates is elected from each prefecture at every election. What are your views on this?

 

The Constitution should be amended so that at least one Upper House member is elected from each prefecture

33

The electoral system should be radically reformed using legislation, rather constitutional revision, to both rectify the disparity in the value of a single vote and eliminate “combined constituencies”

45

The current electoral system with its “combined constituencies” should be maintained; no constitutional amendment is necessary 

15

O/A

2

N/A

5

 

Q15: In September 2017, Prime Minister Abe dissolved the Lower House even though the Lower House members had more than one year left in their terms. The government interprets the Constitution as allowing the prime minister (cabinet) free exercise of the right to dissolve the Lower House. Some say, however, that the Constitution should be amended to add limitations to the prime minister’s (cabinet’s) right to dissolve the Lower House. What are your views on this?

 

Limitations on the right to dissolve the Lower House should be added

51

There is no need to add limitations on the right to dissolve the Lower House

45

N/A

4

 

Q16: Prime Minister Abe has expressed a strong desire to amend the Constitution. Are you in favor of or opposed to constitutional amendment under Prime Minister Abe?

 

In favor

42

Opposed

54

N/A

4

 

Q17: Prime Minister Abe has repeatedly said he aims to bring an amended Constitution into force in 2020. It is anticipated that the Diet will initiate amendments within this year and an amended Constitution will be brought into force in 2020 after a national referendum is held. Are you in favor of or opposed to this schedule?

 

In favor

39

Opposed

58

N/A

3

 

Q18: For national referendums to seek the people’s will on constitutional amendments, television commercials can be aired up to two weeks prior to voting day in principle. Some say that the national referendum law should be revised to introduce stronger restrictions on commercials. Are you in favor of or opposed to this?

 

In favor

40

Opposed

56

N/A

4

 

Q19: Japan has not used armed force overseas in the 74 years since the end of World War II. Do you think that the reason for this is Article 9?

 

Japan has not used armed force precisely because of Article 9

67

Japan has not used armed force because of other reasons as well

31

N/A

2

 

Note: In cases where more than one response is permitted, the figures may add up to more than 100%.

 

Polling methodology: The mail-in survey was implemented by randomly selecting a total of 3,000 men and women aged 18 or over nationwide from 250 locations on a stratified two-stage random-sampling basis to create a cross-section of Japan’s slightly more than 100 million voters. Questionnaires were sent out on Feb. 6 and were completed and sent back by a total of 2,032 persons by March 14. Valid answers were received from 1,930 persons, excluding answer sheets with many questions left blank and answer sheets filled out by those not subject to the survey. The valid response rate was 64.3%. The composition of respondents was as follows: male, 50.4%; female, 49.6%. The survey excluded some areas of the three prefectures severely impacted by the Great East Japan Earthquake.

  • Ambassador
  • Ukraine
  • OPINION POLLS
  • COVID-19
  • Trending Japan