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Nearly 79 percent of those who responded to a recent Kyodo News phone survey said they oppose a U.S.-led military attack on Iraq, the news agency said Monday.

Some 78.7 percent of respondents to the weekend survey voiced opposition toward an attack, with just 15.5 percent expressing support.

Some 48.5 percent of respondents said that the Japanese government should not support a military strike, an increase of 9.7 percentage points from a similar survey conducted in January.

Meanwhile, 20.9 percent said the government should support a strike, down from the 29.6 percent recorded in the January poll.

When asked whether they would support a dispatch of the Self-Defense Forces to Iraq to assist in reconstruction efforts after a military campaign, 47.4 percent of respondents said they would, up 3.8 percentage points from the January survey.

Some 46.1 percent of respondents said they would not support a dispatch of this kind.

Eighty-two percent of respondents voiced fear that an attack on Iraq would affect Japan’s economy and their daily lives, well above the 15.1 percent who voiced optimism on these matters.

When asked to name specific areas of concern, 65.3 percent said they fear that the price of crude oil could rise sharply, leading to an increase in kerosene and gasoline prices.

Some 27.5 percent of respondents said that a war would further depress the economy and lead to more unemployment and corporate bankruptcies, while 27.4 percent said terrorism fears would deter people from taking overseas trips.

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