According to the NHK public opinion survey for January, 44% of pollees support the Abe cabinet, down 1 percentage point from the poll conducted last month. Those saying they do not support the cabinet increased by 1 point to 38%.
NHK conducted a nationwide survey over the three-day period of Jan. 11–13, 2020, 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 1,221 of the 2,216 people polled. The valid response rate was 55%.
When asked why they support the Abe cabinet, 51% of respondents said, “Because it seems better than other cabinets,” while 19% said, “Because it takes action.”
Asked why they do not support the cabinet, 46% said, “Because the prime minister is untrustworthy” and 28% said, “Because nothing can be expected of its policy measures.”
Asked how concerned they are about the impact of the Middle East situation on the international situation and the Japanese economy, 38% said they are “very concerned,” 43% said they are “somewhat concerned” while 10% said they are “not very concerned” and 3% said they are “not concerned at all.”
Japan depends on the Middle East for the bulk of its crude oil. To strengthen its framework to collect the information needed to ensure the security of Japan-affiliated vessels, the government is set to dispatch Self-Defense Force assets to the Middle East. Asked for their views on the dispatch of the SDF, 45% of respondents said they are “in favor” of it and 38% said they are “opposed” to it.
Men and women viewed this matter differently. More men said they are in favor (56%) than said they are opposed. In contrast, women opposed (45%) exceeding those in favor.
By political party supported, more ruling party supporters were in favor of the dispatch of the SDF (61%) than were opposed. Meanwhile, more opposition party supporters and independents were opposed than in favor. Some 62% of opposition party supporters said they are opposed, and 46% of independents also gave that response.
At a press conference former Nissan Motor Chairman Carlos Ghosn held in Lebanon after skipping bail and leaving Japan, he insisted he is justified in illegally leaving the country. “There was no way I would be given fair trial in Japan,” he said. Asked if they are persuaded by his statement, 1% said they are “very persuaded,” 7% said they are “somewhat persuaded” while 23% said they are “not very persuaded” and 62% said they are “not persuaded at all.”
A former Cabinet Office state minister in charge of developing integrated resorts (IRs) that feature casinos in Japan has been arrested on suspicion of accepting bribes. The government plans to continue to move forward with the development of IRs. The opposition parties, however, plan to submit to the Diet a bill to abolish the IR Implementation Act. Asked if the development of IRs should continue to be pursued or should be abolished, 25% said the project should move forward while 54% said it should be dropped.
By gender, men and women thinking the project should be abandoned exceeded the number saying it should move forward. Only 15% of women said that the plan should go forward. while 59% said that it should be abandoned.
By age group, more than half of those age 50 or over said that the plan should be cancelled. Of those, 70% of those in their 60s also gave that response.
Even among ruling party supporters, those saying the plan should be dropped (47%) exceeded the percentage saying it should move forward.
Asked if they are optimistic about the merger between the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan and the Democratic Party for the People, 5% said they are “very optimistic,” 18% said they are “somewhat optimistic” while 38% said they are “not very optimistic” and 31% said they are “not optimistic at all.”
The poll probed views on the timing of the dissolution of the Lower House and the holding of a general election. Given four responses to choose from, 4% said “before the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games,” 28% said “after the Games but before the end of the year” while 16% said “early next year” and 39% said “when the Lower House members’ terms expire in October next year or at a time near that.”