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OPINION POLLS

Opinion poll & results from Asahi Shimbun poll on the Imperial family

Questions & answers (%)

Figures rounded off. Some questions and answers have been omitted. Except where specially noted, respondents were asked to select one response from a list of possible responses.

 

Q: Do you feel close to the current Imperial family?

 

Yes

76

No

17

 

Q: What roles do you expect the next emperor, who will be enthroned in May, to fulfill?

 

Focus on “acts in matters of state,” including convocation of the Diet

21

Attend national events, such as the National Sports Festival of Japan

36

Travel overseas and meet with foreign VIPs

55

Preserve tradition, including ritual ceremonies at the Imperial Palace

47

Encourage the Japanese people by visiting areas affected by disasters

66

Pray for peace through such events as memorial services for the war dead

52

None in particular

12

 

Q: If a future emperor were to indicate the desire to abdicate, how do you think it should be handled?

 

The emperor’s wishes should be respected and abdication allowed

61

A decision on the matter should be made with caution and in light of circumstances

35

Abdication should not be allowed

1

 

Q: “Daijosai,” a rice-offering ceremony performed by the new emperor, will be held in November as part of the Imperial succession. The Imperial family has expressed the opinion that the costs of rituals that have strong religious overtones should be covered using the budgeted allowance for the private expenses of the Imperial family, rather than government money. The government, however, has decided to outlay a budget for it, on the grounds that it is public as well as religious in nature. Do you approve of the government’s decision?

 

Yes

53

No

38

 

Q: Under the Imperial Household Law, which is the law governing the Imperial family today, only males can ascend the Chrysanthemum Throne. Do you think it is better to allow only males to ascend the throne or do you think it is better to amend the Imperial Household Law to allow female emperors?

 

It is better to allow only male emperors

19

It is better to also allow female emperors

76

 

Q: Under the Imperial Household Law, emperors can come only from the male line. If the child of a female emperor were to become emperor, it would be the first time in history for a female-line emperor (jokei-tenno) to be permitted. Do you think it is better to continue to limit succession to the male line or that it is better to allow female-line emperors?

 

It is better to continue to limit succession to the male line

21

It is better to also allow female-line emperors

74

 

Q: Under the current Imperial Household Law, princesses leave the Imperial family if they marry commoners. Some say that these women should be retained as members of the Imperial family by enabling them to establish female branches of the Imperial family even after they marry commoners. Are you in favor of or opposed to this idea?

 

In favor

50

Opposed

37

 

Polling methodology: The survey was implemented by sending questionnaires by postal mail to a total of 3,000 persons chosen from among the nation’s voting population on a stratified two-stage random sampling basis. A total of 335 voting blocs were selected so as to represent the nation’s electorate at large, and nine persons were picked on average from each voting bloc’s register. The questionnaires were sent out on March 6 and were completed and sent back by a total of 2,093 persons by April 15. Valid answers were received from 2,043 persons, excluding answer sheets with many questions left blank and answer sheets filled out by those not subject to the survey. The retrieval rate was 68%.

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