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SECURITY > Self-Defense Forces

30% say they are “unsure” whether SDF should be specified in Constitution, Mainichi poll

  • May 3, 2019
  • , Mainichi , p. 3
  • JMH Translation

The Mainichi Shimbun conducted a nationwide public opinion poll on April 13–14 to probe views on the Liberal Democratic Party’s constitutional amendment proposal to expressly state the existence of the “Self-Defense Forces” in Article 9. The results were virtually unchanged from the figures in the survey conducted one year prior. This again reveals the reality that the LDP proposal has not gained ground among the Japanese people.   


In this year’s survey, those “opposed” to the proposal (28%) decreased by 3 percentage points from the poll taken in April 2018 soon after the LDP announced its amendment proposal. Those “in favor” of the amendment proposal (27%) remained unchanged from a year prior, and those who said they are “unsure” (32%) rose by 3 points. The April 2019 results are thus essentially unchanged across the board from the April 2018 findings. As in the April 2018 poll, equal percentages of respondents were “in favor” and “opposed” in the recent poll, and those who said they are “unsure” accounted for 30% of all pollees.


In the recent poll, 52% of LDP backers said they are “in favor” of the proposal and 11% were “opposed,” while 27% said they said they are “unsure.” Among independents, 41% said they are “unsure,” followed by 29% who were “opposed” to the proposal and 17% “in favor.”


A plurality of 57% of cabinet supporters said that they are “in favor” of “amending the Constitution during the Abe administration” while 24% said they are “opposed” to that. This suggests that there is a certain level of caution among the people.


[Polling methodology: The survey was conducted by pollsters over the two-day period of April 13–14, targeting landline and mobile telephone numbers across the nation on a computer-aided random digit sampling (RDS) basis. The survey excluded landline numbers in municipalities designated as “difficult-to-return” zones due to the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident. Valid responses were received from 501 persons (out of the 845 households with one or more persons age 18 or over) for landline numbers and 555 persons (out of the 672 persons age 18 or over who answered) for mobile numbers. The valid response rates were 59% for landline numbers and 83% for mobile numbers.]


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