Scientific researcher, 32 (South Korean)
It was not necessary for the prime minister to call an election now. He’s performing all right at the moment and his policies seem sensible. If he’d delayed the poll until a year from now, the result would be the same, so I don’t understand the urgency. “Abenomics” is not a failure. The process is continuing, so it can’t be judged yet.
Interpreter, 54 (Brazilian)
Although I have a Japanese name, I’m a foreigner with no voting rights. (PM Shinzo) Abe wants approval for his economic planning and the proposed tax rise. Many Japanese question his motives and he will probably raise the tax anyway. It is just a matter of timing. If he gets a big majority he can do it now and avoid responsibility. Not enough votes may only delay the rise.
Salesman, 40 (Japanese)
The main issue is another possible consumption tax rise to 10 percent. I don’t agree with it because it will decrease spending and a fall in sales will shrink the business of large and small companies. Trying to tackle deflation makes daily life hard. However, I will vote for Abe. The only other options are a strange group of politicians that I do not trust.
Office administrator, 39 (Japanese)
Abe did not want to call this election. When he was abroad recently he had no plans for it, but when he came back, his party had set it up for him. You could see he didn’t want to do it. Although I’m not happy about the 8-percent consumption tax rise, which affects lots of householders, I’m not against him and I think he’s doing OK.
Professor, 53 (American)
He is betting on the high probability that his party will win the election, as the opposition is in disarray. I hope Abenomics works, though it might entail some pain. Raising the sales tax is regressive. However, some politicians’ suggestions to exempt food and basic necessities could make sure the poor are not penalized too much.
Secretary, 48 (Japanese)
He didn’t hold a snap election before the change to allow the right to collective self-defense [under a reinterpretation of the Constitution], which was a very important problem. Why ask us now about the rights or wrongs of Abenomics, an ongoing policy whose results cannot yet be estimated? Elections cost about ¥60 billion, and I think this one is a waste of taxpayers’ money.
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