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More than 80 percent of respondents to a recent poll say Japan should step up economic sanctions against North Korea following Pyongyang’s recent missile launches.

Those favoring stronger sanctions such as blocking money remittances to North Korea or curbing trade with the North totaled 80.7 percent, while those who said Japan should not step up sanctions came to 12.6 percent.

The random telephone survey was conducted Friday and Saturday by Kyodo News, following Wednesday’s multiple missile launches. Valid responses were gathered from 1,011 people.

Those surveyed largely favor the government taking a tough stance.

The poll found that 82.6 percent said they give credit to the government for invoking economic sanctions, including a ban on a North Korean ferry from entering a Japanese port.

On North Korea’s missile launches, 87 percent expressed anxiety, with 45.2 percent saying they “feel very anxious” and 41.8 percent saying they “feel somewhat anxious.”

Those who said they “feel not so much anxiety” totaled 9.9 percent, and 2.8 percent said they feel no anxiety at all.

Support for Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s Cabinet stood at 46.8 percent, down 1.4 percentage points from a previous poll conducted June 17 and 18.

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