The hottest political issue so far this year has been Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's historic decision to reinterpret the war-renouncing Constitution to permit the use of collective self-defense, allowing Japan to come to the aid of an ally under armed attack. How has the public reacted to Abe's military crusade?

Phone-based media polls — effectively the only means by which to rapidly determine voter sentiment — have produced rather perplexing results, stirring debate among academics and the public.

Left-leaning dailies, such as the Asahi Shimbun and the Mainichi Shimbun — which have run editorials opposing Abe's move — have reported that more than 50 percent of its respondents are against reinterpreting the Constitution to permit collective defense.