Yomiuri Poll | Two-thirds in Japan want debate on constitutional reform

Japan's Prime Minister and Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) leader Shinzo Abe attends a press conference at the headquarter of LDP in Tokyo on July 22, 2019, one day after the election of the House of Councilors. ( The Yomiuri Shimbun via AP Images )

TOKYO (The Japan News/ANN) — According to a survey conducted by The Yomiuri Shimbun, two-thirds of respondents are hoping for active debate on revising the Constitution.

Two-thirds of respondents are hoping for active debate on revising the Constitution, according to a survey conducted on Monday and Tuesday by The Yomiuri Shimbun.

In a nationwide survey on the results of the House of Councillors election, 66 percent of respondents said they want active debate on Constitutional revision in the commissions on the Constitution in both chambers.

The ruling coalition — the Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito — and other groups who favor Constitutional revision failed to win the two-thirds majority needed for the Diet to initiate procedures for revising the Constitution.

Forty-eight percent said this was a good result, while 35 percent said it was not.

The approval rating for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet was 53 percent, which was close to the 51 percent from the previous survey conducted July 4-5, right after the upper house poll was officially announced. (The Japan News/ANN)
The approval rating for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet was 53 percent, which was close to the 51 percent from the previous survey conducted July 4-5, right after the upper house poll was officially announced. (The Japan News/ANN)

Even among the respondents who said it was good that the pro-Constitutional revision bloc fell short of a two-thirds majority, more than half, or 59 percent, said they wanted active debate on Constitutional reform, indicating that regardless of how many seats the pro-revision parties have, there are many people who want to see the matter debated in the Diet.

The approval rating for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet was 53 percent, which was close to the 51 percent from the previous survey conducted July 4-5, right after the upper house poll was officially announced.

Thirty-six percent said they did not support the Cabinet, compared to 33 percent previously.

Support was highest for the LDP at 40 percent, followed by the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan at 12 percent.

Reiwa Shinsengumi, which met the requirements for a national political party under the Public Offices Election Law and Political Party Subsidies Law in the upper house election, received 1 percent support, the same as the Social Democratic Party.

People who supported no particular party made up 27 percent. Half support ruling bloc

The survey also showed that 49 percent of respondents thought the ruling parties’ securing of a majority of seats in the upper house was a good thing, above the 33 percent who said it was not good.

Forty-one percent said they wished the opposition parties had taken more seats, 38 percent said the results were just right and 15 percent said the ruling parties should have taken more seats.

Fifty-two percent of unaffiliated respondents said they wished the opposition bloc had won more seats, indicating that the majority think the ruling bloc won too hefty a victory.

By age group, the most common answer among people under 50 was “just right,” while the largest share of people age 50 and older thought the opposition should have won more seats, highlighting an age gap in this area.

As to why the LDP was victorious, 61 percent cited the passive view that people thought the LDP was better than the opposition parties, while 17 percent said people wanted stable politics, 7 percent said people approved of the ruling parties’ achievements and 6 percent said people approved of Abe’s political stances.

Voter turnout in the upper house election was less than 50 percent, which is the second-lowest on record. When asked why this was the case, 63 percent of respondents said it was because “many people are indifferent to politics,” followed by 23 percent who said “the opposition parties were unable to win votes from people dissatisfied with the Abe Cabinet.”

Eighty percent of respondents said an opposition bloc that can resist the LDP is necessary. Even among ruling bloc supporters, 74 percent gave this answer.

The survey also asked about the Japanese government’s placing of stricter export controls on South Korean semiconductor materials.

Seventy-one percent of respondents expressed support for this, while only 17 percent said they did not support it.

This policy gained high levels of support regardless of gender or age. Among people who did not support the Cabinet and among opposition party supporters, support for the policy against South Korea was at 60 percent or higher.

By News Desk