• Kyodo


More than half of the respondents to a Kyodo News opinion poll do not support Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s handling of security policies, which include allowing the nation to begin aiding allies under armed attack, despite the ruling bloc’s victory in Sunday’s election.

The nationwide telephone poll, conducted over the two days following the Lower House election, found 55.1 percent of respondents do not support Abe’s defense and security policies, while 33.6 percent said they do.

Abe’s Cabinet in July approved the reinterpretation of the pacifist Constitution to allow Japan to exercise the right to collective self-defense, or defending allies under armed attack.

Although Abe touted the election victory by the coalition led by his Liberal Democratic Party as a fresh mandate for his economic policies, 62.8 percent of the respondents said they do not think his measures will make the economy better, while only 27.3 percent said they do.

The poll found 46.9 percent approval for the Cabinet, down 1.2 percentage points from the previous poll in October. The disapproval rate rose 5.1 points to 45.3 percent.

The LDP and its coalition partner Komeito retained a two-thirds majority in the Lower House, even though the LDP won slightly fewer seats than it previously held.

Respondents were divided in their views of the election results, with 27.4 percent welcoming them, 27.1 percent saying they do not and 45.2 percent were undecided.

On Abe’s plan to raise the consumption tax rate by 2 percentage points to 10 percent in April 2017, 57.5 percent said they oppose the hike and 38.6 percent support it.

The economy has fallen back into recession due in large part to the impact of the consumption tax increase last April to 8 percent.

The administration says the tax increase is meant to raise revenue to cover ballooning social security costs.

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