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YOMIURI SHIMBUN MARCH 2008 OPINION POLL (P08-06)

Yomiuri Shimbun March 2008 Opinion Polls

Date Conducted

March 15-16, 2008

Date Released

Publishing date not available

Copyright

Yomiuri Shimbun

Methodology

Yomiuri conducted the poll in individual interviews on March 15 and 16, 2008, using a stratified two-stage random sample of 3,000 voters in 250 different locations. 1,786 people, or 59.5% of those selected, responded.

Key Issues

  • Evaluation of the Fukuda Administration/Cabinet
  • Japanese constitution and its amendment/revision
  • Public safety and the police   

Disclaimer

The Mansfield Foundation is responsible for the translation of this Yomiuri Shimbun poll, subject to the Mansfield Foundation Terms of Use

Q1. Do you support or not support the Fukuda Cabinet?

 

Support 33.9% (38.7)
Do not support 54.0% (50.8)
Other 2.6% (2.8)
Do not know; No answer 9.5% (7.7)

Figures in parentheses are results from polls conducted in February 2008

 

SQ1. [For those who answered “Support” to Q1]

Please select up to two reasons from the following for why you support the Fukuda Cabinet.

 

Positively evaluate its political stance 25.6% (26.7)
Feel that it is stable 28.4% (31.4)
Can trust the Prime Minister 27.9% (24.1)
Positively evaluate its economic policies 4.8% (6.4)
Positively evaluate its foreign policy 5.8% (5.7)
It is a coalition between the Liberal Democratic Party and theKomeitoParty 12.4% (12.2)
Fukuda is an LDP Prime Minister 30.5% (27.4)
It is better than previous cabinets 12.2% (13.3)
Other; Do not know; No answer 5.9%(5.1)

Figures in parentheses are results from polls conducted in February 2008

 

SQ2. [Those who answered “Do not support” to Q1 only]

Please select up to two reasons from the following for why you do not support the FukudaCabinet:

 

Cannot positively evaluate its political stance 47.8% (47.9)
Do not feel that the cabinet is stable 26.8% (27.6)
Cannot trust the Prime Minister 23.4% (27.8)
Cannot support the administration's economic policies 37.9% (37.0)
Cannot support the administration's foreign policy 8.6% (7.8)
It is a coalition between the Liberal Democratic Party and theKomeitoParty 8.8% (10.6)
Fukuda is an LDP Prime Minister 4.9%(5.4)
It is worse than previous cabinets 8.1% (6.6)
Other; Do not know; No answer 3.0% (2.4)

Figures in parentheses are results from polls conducted in February 2008

 

 

Q2. From list below, please select all applicable issues you would like the Fukuda Cabinet to prioritize and address:

 

Economic conditions/job security 53.9%(56.9)
Fiscal reconstruction 24.5%(23.0)
Tax reform and the issue of the consumption tax 32.1%(30.2)
Social security reform, including pensions and healthcare 58.1%(62.1)
Support for child care and countermeasures for declining birthrates 27.4%(27.8)
Education reform 18.6%(20.5)
Problems of income disparities 22.1%(26.0)
Administrative reform, such as cutting back the number of government employees 19.7%(17.0)
Politics and money issues 30.2%(28.5)
Foreign policy toward Asia, including China and South Korea 12.5%(12.8)
Issues with North Korea 17.9%(18.1)
National defense and security 11.6%( 8.3)
Constitutionalrevision 4.8%( 4.4)
Disaster prevention and crisis management 8.4%( 8.0)
Public safety and crime prevention 16.9%(14.8)
Environmental protection 22.7%(21.6)
Food safety 37.1%(40.3)
Other; Nothing special; Do not know; No answer 3.7%( 2.4)

Figures in parentheses are results from polls conducted in February 2008

 

 

Q3. Which political party do you support right now? Please select one:

 

Liberal Democratic Party 33.1%(32.6)
Democratic Party of Japan 17.6%(20.0)
KomeitoParty 2.7%( 3.2)
Japan Communist Party 2.5%( 2.1)
Social Democratic Party of Japan 1.1%( 0.9)
The New People's Party 0.3%( 0.1)
The New Party Nippon 0.1%( 0.1)
Other ---%( ---)
Do not support any party 41.9%(40.4)
Do not know; No answer 0.7%( 0.8)

Figures in parentheses are results from polls conducted in February 2008

 

 

Q4. Do you think the provisional tax on gasoline for road improvement should be maintained even after it expires in March or should it be scrapped?

 

Should be maintained 27.0% (29.4)
Should be scrapped 64.2% (62.1)
Do not know; No answer 8.8% ( 8.5)

Figures in parentheses are results from polls conducted in February 2008

 

 

Q5. On the bill to continue the added tax on gasoline, the ruling party aims to pass it, while the opposition party is against this. Do you think the ruling and opposition parties should come to an agreement through compromising and amending the bill?

 

Yes 63.3% (60.4)
No 28.5% (30.3)
Do not know; No answer 8.2% ( 9.3)

Figures in parentheses are results from polls conducted in February 2008



Q6. Do you think the government’s response to the collision of the Maritime Self-Defense Force’s (MSDF) Aegis destroyer “Atago” and a fishing vessel [on February 9, 2008] was appropriate or not?

 

Appropriate 54.8%
Not appropriate 40.5%
Do not know; No answer 4.7%

 

 

Q7. Do you approve of the Democratic Party of Japan’s response to the personnel proposals for a new governor to the Bank of Japan?

 

Highly approve 4.4%
Somewhat approve 21.0%
Do not really approve 37.7%
Do not approve at all 21.7%
Do not know; No answer 15.2%

 

 

Q8. When do you think the dissolution of the House of Representatives and the next general election should be held? Please select one of the following.

 

As soon as possible 22.2%
After the [G8] Summit in July 22.5%
Within the year 22.0%
Anytime before the term ends in Sept. 2009 24.7%
Do not know; No answer 8.6%

 

 

Q9. What arrangement of political parties do you think is ideal in an administration right now? Please choose one from the following list of responses.

 

The current LDP/Komeitocoalition 22.1% (22.0)
Coalition of opposition-parties centered on DPJ 16.1% (17.5)
LDP one-party rule 7.2% ( 6.7)
DPJ one-party rule 4.9% ( 5.2)
Coalition government between LDP and DPJ 20.7% (19.0)
New framework involving realignment of ruling and opposition parties 15.3% (17.2)
Other 0.4% ( 0.1)
Do not know; No answer 13.2 (12.2)

Figures in parentheses are results from polls conducted in February 2008

 

 

Q10. It will soon be half a year since Prime Minister Fukuda was appointed to office. Overall, do you approve of the performance of Prime Minister Fukuda and his cabinet or not?

 

Highly approve 4.9%
Somewhat approve 28.6%
Do not really approve 41.7%
Do not approve at all 21.8%
Do not know; No answer 3.0%

 

 

Q11. If there is something you approve of in Prime Minster Fukuda/his cabinet’s performance or responses, please select as many from the following as apply.

 

Resumption of MSDF refueling activities in the Indian Ocean 11.8%
Blanket relief for plaintiffs in Hepatitis C group class-action case 49.9%
Establishment of the National Commission on Social Security 3.5%
Response to the missing pension records issue 17.5%
Establishment of Minister of Consumer Affairs and Council for Promoting Consumer Policy 3.3%
Handling of food poisoning incidents from Chinese-made frozen dumplings 8.6%
Response to economic conditions, such as stock prices 1.6%
Response to the Aegis destroyer collision 5.3%
Diplomacy with U.S. 3.9%
Diplomacy with China, South Korea 10.4%
Proposal of new ideas for global warming 11.5%
Other 0.2%
Nothing I can approve of 27.1%
Do not know; No answer 4.5%

 

 

Q12. Do you understand well what kind of politics Fukuda is aiming for or not?

 

Understand well 8.8%
Do not understand well 88.7%
Do not know; No answer 2.5%

 

 

Q13. Do you think Prime Minister Fukuda’s job performance is solid or not?

 

Yes 43.2%
No 47.8%
Do not know; No answer 9.0%

 

 

Q14. In the Fukuda Cabinet, is there someone whose performance you positively evaluate? Select as many members as apply.

 

HiroyaMasuda, Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications 3.6%
KunioHatoyama, Minister of Justice 4.3%
Masahiko Komura, Minister for Foreign Affairs 6.0%
FukushiroNukaga, Minister of Finance 1.6%
KisaburoTokai, Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology 1.2%
YoichiMasuzoe, Minister of Health,Labourand Welfare 51.4%
Masatoshi Wakabayashi, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries 0.7%
AkiraAmari, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry 1.2%
TetsuzoFuyushiba, Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport 4.1%
IchiroKamoshita, Minister of the Environment 2.1%
ShigeruIshiba, Minister of State for Defense 13.5%
NobutakaMachimura, Chief Cabinet Secretary Minister of State for the Abduction Issue 8.6%
Shinya Izumi, Minister of State, Chairman of the National Public Safety Commission 0.4%
FumioKishida, Minister of State for Okinawa and Northern Territories Affairs; Consumer Affairs 0.8%
Yoshimi Watanabe, Minister of State for Financial Services and Administrative Reform 11.5%
Hiroko Ota, Minister of State for Economic and Fiscal Policy 3.6%
YokoKamikawa,Minister of State for Gender Equality and Social Affairs 1.6%
Nobody; Do not know; No answer 35.8%

 

 

Q15. How long would you like the Fukuda Cabinet to stay in power for?

 

As long as possible 12.8%
2-3 years 14.4%
About 1 year 22.7%
About 1/2 year 18.6%
Quit as soon as possible 25.3%
Other 0.3%
Do not know; No answer 5.9%

 

 

Q16. Do you approve of [Ichiro] Ozawa’s performance as the President of the Democratic Party of Japan or not?

 

Highly approve 4.3%
Somewhat approve 25.1%
Do not really approve 42.0%
Do not approve at all 23.0%
Do not know; No answer 5.7%

 

 

Q17. Out of the current members of Parliament, who do you think is the most suitable to be prime minister? Please select one from the following (names given in [Japanese] alphabetical order).

 

TaroAso 21.2%
ShinzoAbe 1.2%
NobuteruIshihara 1.8%
Akihiro Ota 0.5%
KatsuyaOkada 2.1%
Ichiro Ozawa 5.3%
Naoto Kan 3.4%
Yuriko Koike 1.3%
JunichiroKoizumi 16.1%
SadakazuTanigaki 1.7%
ShochiNakagawa 0.3%
FukushiroNukaga 0.2%
YukioHatoyama 0.9%
YasuoFukuda 4.0%
SeijiMaehara 0.8%
YoichiMasuzoe 3.2%
NobutakaMachimura 0.9%
KaoruYosano 0.3%
Other 0.5%
Nobody 24.9%
Do not know; No answer 9.5%

 

 

The following questions are related to the Japanese constitution.

 

Q18. What areas of the current Japanese constitution are you interested in? The following issues are all related to the constitution; if you think any particular ones are of interest, please select as many from the following as apply.

 

Emperor and the Imperial family 20.1%
Renunciation of war;Self Defense Forces 46.9%
Equality and discrimination 17.6%
Freedom of expression in speech, publications, images, etc. 10.6%
Disclosure of information 11.8%
Privacy protection 15.3%
Right to life, social welfare 18.8%
Environment 31.0%
Association, demonstrations, strikes 2.1%
Electoral system 10.7%
Justice system 20.4%
Official visits toYasukuniShrine 15.0%
Constitutional revision 13.0%
Separation of powers 4.6%
Local government 13.0%
Bicameral legislature 6.8%
Background/process of constitution's formation 4.3%
Do not know; Nothing in particular; No answer 15.5%

 

 

Q19. Do you think the current constitution should be revised or not?

 

Yes 42.5%
No 43.1%
Do not know; No answer 14.4%

 

SQ1. [For those who answered “Yes” to Q19]

Why do you think the constitution should be revised? Please select as many from the following as apply.

 

Because it was forced upon Japan by U.S. 31.2%
To clarify Japan's right to self defense, and officially acknowledgeSDF'sexistence 24.5%
Because there are too many claims to rights, and obligations are being neglected 24.6%
Because confusion is caused by simple interpretation/application of constitution 30.8%
Because new problems are created as current constitution cannot respond to international contributions, etc. 45.2%
Other 3.0%
Do not know; No answer 1.3%

 

SQ2. [For those who answered “No” to Q19]

Why do you think the constitution should not be revised? Please select as many from the following as apply.

 

Because it is already entrenched among the people 42.7%
Because it is a peace constitution which can be boasted to the world 52.5%
Because basic human rights and democracy are protected 26.6%
Because as thecircumstanceschange, interpretation and application can be broadened 17.8%
Because if revised, road to becoming a military superpowermay open 27.3%
Other 0.9%
Do not know; No answer 1.0%

 

 

Q20. In dealing with the various problems surrounding Article 9 of the constitution (in which Japan renounces the right to war and to arms), the government has responded through “interpretation” and “application.”  What do you think should be done about Article 9 in the future? Please select one from the following.

 

Continue to respond via interpretation/application 36.2%
Revise Article 9, as interpretation/application has reached its limits 30.7%
Strictly observe Article 9, and do not respond via interpretation/application 23.9%
Other 0.3%
Do not know; No answer 8.9%

 

 

Q21. There are two paragraphs that make up the text of Article 9. Please respond, in turn, as to whether you think each needs to be revised.

 

SQ1. Do you think Paragraph 1, which stipulates the renunciation of war, needs to be revised or not?

Yes 12.5%
No 81.6%
Do not know; No answer 5.9%

 

SQ2. Do you think Paragraph 2, which stipulates that armed forces and war potential will not be maintained, needs to be revised or not?

Yes 36.8%
No 54.5%
Do not know; No answer 8.6%

 

 

Q22. If a close ally of Japan is attacked, this attack is seen as a threat to Japan’s security; the right to strike back at the attacker is termed “the right of collective self-defense.” In the government’s view, Japan has this right, but its exercise is circumscribed by the constitution. From the following choices, please select that which is closest to your thinking on the right of collective self-defense.

 

Revise constitution so right of collective self-defense can be exercised 18.7 %
Change interpretation of constitution so right of collective self-defense can be exercised 22.1 %
Right does not need to be exercised 51.6 %
Other 0.3%
Do not know; No answer 7.3%

 

 

Q23. Whenever the government has sent the Self Defense Forces on any extended overseas dispatch (besides UN peacekeeping operations), it has made a special law each time. To amend this situation, do you think a new “permanent law” that establishes comprehensive rules for SDF overseas dispatches is necessary or not?

 

Yes 46.0%
No 42.1%
Do not know; No answer 11.9%

 

 

Q24. As written in the constitution, the Diet is bicameral, with a Lower House and an Upper House. There are various debates and opinions on the bicameral system. From the following choices, please select that which is closest to your thinking.

 

Make it a unicameral system 18.8%
Keep bicameral system, but strengthen role/authority of Lower House 12.5%
Keep bicameral system, but strengthen role/authority of Upper House 17.5%
System is fine as is 44.2%
Other 0.3%
Do not know; No answer 6.6%

 

 

Q25. The Constitution stipulates that a bill which passes the Lower House, even if voted down in the Upper House, can be enacted via a second vote in the Lower House that receives a two-thirds majority.  From the following choices, please select that which is closest to your thinking on this “second vote” in the Lower House.

 

It is reasonable 9.7%
It cannot be helped 35.6%
It should be a last resort 33.8%
It should be avoided 14.1%
Do not know; No answer 6.8%

 

 

Q26. A national referendum on amending the constitution will be held in two years. Last August, a constitutional committee was set up in the Diet to engage in debate on the constitution. Do you think that the political parties should also step up debate on the constitution or not?

 

Yes 70.8%
No 19.3%
Do not know; No answer 9.9%

 

 

Q27. In the national referendum, some are seeking votes on the constitutional amendment from those 18 years old and up, provided that the adult age (currently age 20 under the Civil Code) is changed to 18. Do you think that the voting age on the constitutional amendment should be 18 or not?

 

Yes 36.2%
No 59.7%
Do not know; No answer 4.1%

 

 

Q28. In the Japanese Constitution, if there are any topics on which you think clauses should be changed, or new clauses should be added, please choose as many from the following as apply.

 

Emperor's status/function 14.1%
Maintenance of army for self defense 26.5%
Active international cooperation 19.5%
Right to information fromgov'tagencies 19.1%
Protection of personal information/privacy 17.7%
Respect for families 12.7%
Right to live in a favorable environment 25.3%
Strengthening Prime Minister's authority for emergencies, etc. 13.0%
Role of Upper and Lower Houses 14.7%
Role of nation/localities 22.1%
Establishment of Constitutional Court 5.1%
Other 0.2%
Nothing in particular 24.4%
Do not know; No answer 4.5 %

 

 

The following questions are related to public safety.

 

Q29. Do you think that these few years, public safety in Japan has gotten better or worse?

 

Better 2.1%
Relatively better 9.4%
Relatively worse 37.8%
Worse 48.0%
Do not know; No answer 2.7%

 

SQ1. [For those who answered “Relatively worse” or “Worse” to Q29]

What do you think the reason is behind the worsening of public safety? Please select as many from the following as apply.

 

Police crime prevention inadequate 25.7%
Police cannot resolve heinous crimes 23.6%
Punishment for crimes too light 44.3%
Foreigners, including illegal immigrants, have increased 40.3%
Issues with education at school/home 47.3%
Neighborhood connections weaker 44.6%
Overall erosion of society's morals 66.8%
Abundance of harmful information that leads to crime 43.0%
Other; Do not know; No answer 1.6%

 

 

Q30. What aspects of recent trends in crime do you think are particularly a problem? Please select as many from the following as apply.

 

Increasingly atrocious 53.5%
Increasingly impulsive 56.2%
Armed crimes increasing 25.1%
More foreigners committing crimes 39.0%
Increasingly young assailants 55.2%
Elderly, women, children increasingly targeted 39.3%
Crime closer to home 28.6%
Crime by repeat offendersincreasing 18.0%
Increase in white-collar crime, such as fraud 44.5%
Other; Do not know; No answer 1.8%

 

 

Q31. Are you concerned that you or your family might become a victim in some sort of crime?

 

Highly concerned 25.1%
Somewhat concerned 44.7%
Not very concerned 24.9%
Not concerned at all 4.8%
Do not know; No answer 0.6%

 

SQ1. [For those who answered “Highly concerned” or “Somewhat concerned” to Q31]

What kind of crime do you think you or your family might become victim to? Please select as many from the following as apply.

 

Atrocious crime, like robbery or murder 31.4%
Lock picking/thief 56.8%
Snatcher/pick-pocketing 45.3%
Assault/injury 33.6%
Stalking/sex crime 19.7%
[Child's] kidnapping/confinement 26.9%
Fraud/scam 57.8%
Car/motorcycle theft 39.3%
Other; Do not know; No answer 1.4%

 

 

Q32. Do you trust the police to protect the safety of you/your family or not?

 

Highly trust 24.8%
Somewhat trust 42.7%
Do not trust much 20.4%
Do not trust at all 10.9%
Do not know; No answer 1.3%

 

SQ1. [For those who answered “Do not trust much” or “Do not trust at all” to Q32]

Please select as many from the following as apply as to why you do not trust the police.

 

Decreasedinvestigative ability 27.2%
Decrease in police officers' morals 66.8%
Tendency to conceal scandals within police organization 59.3%
Non-empathetic response to everyday problems 47.3%
Slow response to new types of crime 22.9%
Inadequate control over criminal organizations/groups 24.2%
Conduct forcible investigations of suspects 23.8%
Other 2.0%
Do not know; No answer 0.5%

 

 

Q33. Do you think that to protect your self/family, you must take crime prevention measures yourself, even if it costs money?

 

Yes 78.6%
No 18.9%
Do not know; No answer 2.6%

 

 

Q34. To protect yourself/your family, if there is something you implement or are careful about, select as many from the following as apply.

 

Avoid going out late/to dangerous places 56.2%
Pay attention to crime/suspicious person information 40.3%
Speak with neighbors 42.1%
Participate in local crime prevention 16.0%
Carry an alarm 14.5%
Increase security of home, by changing locks, etc. 28.3%
Use a security company 4.2%
Other 1.0%
Nothing in particular 13.3%
Do not know; No answer 0.2%

 

 

Q35. Do you think that Japan’s current public safety is good, bad, or average compared to that of other countries around the world?

 

Good 50.1%
Average 39.3%
Bad 8.8%
Do not know; No answer 1.8%

 

 

Fundamental Characteristics of the Survey Sample:

 

Regional Distribution

Hokkaido, Tohoku 11.5%
Kanto 30.3%
Chubu 19.2%
Kinki 17.4%
Chugoku, Shikoku 10.3%
Kyushu 11.3%

 

City Scale

Large metropolitan areas (Tokyo's 23 wards and ordinance-designated cities) 21.8%
Large mid-sized cities (cities with population over 300,000) 18.5%
Mid-sized cities (cities with population over 100,000) 23.9%
Small cities (cities with population under 100,000) 24.5%
Towns and villages 11.4%

The scale is based on the established standards as of March 14, 2008

 

Gender Distribution

Male 46.3%
Female 53.7%

 

Age Distribution (in years)

20-24 4.8%
25-29 4.6%
30-34 6.3%
35-39 8.0%
40-44 7.2%
45-49 7.3%
50-54 10.0%
55-59 11.2%
60-69 22.5%
Over 70 years old 18.3%

 

Educational Background

Elementary/middle-school graduate 15.5%
High-school student or graduate 49.2%
College/junior-college student or graduate 34.1%
Do not know; No answer 1.2%

 

Occupational Background

[Self-employed] 13.4%
[Salaried worker] 43.3%
[Other] 43.3%
Agriculture/Forestry/Fishing 3.4%
Business/Industry/Service 9.0%
Freelance Professional 1.1%
Management/Professional 3.8%
Office worker/Skill industry 18.5%
Labor/Service 21.0%
Housewife 22.5%
Domestic woman other than a housewife 5.0%
Student 2.2%
Other; Unemployed; No answer 13.6%

 

Household Annual Income (in Japanese yen)

Below 2 million 11.0%
In between 2 and 4 million 22.1%
In between 4 and 6 million 22.1%
In between 6 and 8 million 15.5%
In between 8 and 10 million 5.7%
Over 10 million 5.0%
Do not know; No answer 18.8%

 

 

 

 

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