By Takahiro Hirata
On April 8, the Mainichi Shimbun conducted a spot opinion poll jointly with the Social Survey Research Center. A plurality of 72% of respondents said that they “think highly” of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s declaring a state of emergency in response to the spread of coronavirus. Meanwhile, 20% said that they “disapprove” of the move. The survey found a strong call among respondents for the government to respond to the crisis in a more speedy fashion. Some 70% said that they declaration was made “too late,” while 22% thought the timing of the declaration was “appropriate.”
The Social Survey Research Center was established this month jointly by the Mainichi Shimbun, Saitama University professor Masao Matsumoto, and Green Ship, a research agency specializing in telephone-based surveys. Professor Matsumoto is an expert in political awareness and voter behavior.
The spot survey was conducted using a new method that employs short message service (SMS) texts to mobile phones.
The survey was conducted on a computer-aided random digit sampling (RDS) basis where calls were placed to both landline and mobile phone numbers using interactive voice responses. A total of 2,190 valid responses were received, including 1,046 from landline numbers and 1,144 from mobile phone numbers. In the case of mobile phone numbers, requests for cooperation in the poll were made using interactive voice responses, and the web address of an online survey was sent via SMS to those who agreed to participate.
Comparatively speaking, landline phone respondents tend to be mainly from older age groups, whereas mobile phone respondents tend to evenly span the age groups of those in their 50s and under.
In the recent poll, there was no significant difference between landline respondents and mobile phone respondents in Abe cabinet support. Some 44% said they backed the cabinet (landline. 44%; mobile, 44%) while 42% said they did not (landline, 41%; mobile, 42%).
[Polling methodology: The survey was conducted by the Social Survey Research Center, the Mainichi Shimbun, and the Japan News Network (JNN) on April 8 from 11:00 a.m. through 2:00 p.m. of those 18 years old or older on a computer-aided random digit sampling (RDS) basis using interactive voice responses. The Mainichi Shimbun started to survey landline numbers using interactive voice responses from the trend surveys for last year’s Upper House election. In this April 8 survey, the Mainichi Shimbun for the first time ever surveyed mobile phone numbers using short message service (SMS) texts. Requests for cooperation in the poll were made using interactive voice responses to mobile phone numbers, and the web address of an online survey was sent via SMS to those who agreed to participate. The desired number of valid responses was set at 1,000 each for landlines and mobile phones. Valid responses were received from 1,046 landline numbers and 1,144 mobile phone numbers.]