Tokyo, Jan. 17 (Jiji Press)–A recent Jiji Press survey has found that 45.9 pct of the public opposes constitutional reform under Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s cabinet, up 4.6 percentage points from August last year.
Respondents who showed support accounted for 31.2 pct of the total, down 0.9 point from August, when the monthly survey previously asked the question on the constitutional reform under Abe.
The prime minister has argued for the need to revise the Constitution, including the war-renouncing Article 9. He has expressed a desire to realize the reform during his tenure, saying, “I definitely want to achieve it with my own hands.”
But the January survey showed a cautious stance among the public.
On a national referendum law revision to improve voter convenience in a possible constitutional referendum, 46.5 pct expressed support for starting deliberations on it at the ordinary session of the Diet, Japan’s parliament, from Monday.
Those who expressed support accounted for 23.3 pct, while 30.2 pct were unsure or neither for nor against.
Meanwhile, the public was split over Chinese President Xi Jinping’s planned visit to Japan as a state guest in spring.
Of the total respondents, 41.9 pct voiced support, 27.7 pct opposed, and 30.5 pct were unsure or neither for nor against.
State guests receive special treatment, including reception, dinner and other events by Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako.
Some in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party oppose the state visit due to repeated intrusions by Chinese coast guard ships into Japanese waters near the Senkaku Islands, claimed by China, and Beijing’s response to protests in Hong Kong.
The interview survey covered 2,000 people aged 18 or over across Japan over the four days through Monday. Valid answers were given by 62.0 pct.