A majority of people surveyed think Prime Minister Shinzo Abe should express regret and apologize for Japan's colonial rule and aggression when he marks the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, a Kyodo News poll found Sunday.

While 54.6 percent said those expressions should be part of Abe's anniversary statement to be issued in August, 30.5 percent said otherwise, the telephone survey over the weekend showed.

On Abe's bid to enact legislation allowing the Self-Defense Forces to play a greater security role overseas, 49.8 percent were opposed to him doing so during the Diet session ending in June, while 38.8 approved of it.

Opinions were divided on similar efforts to enable Japan to use collective self-defense, with 40.6 percent backing it and 45 percent opposed to such legislation.

Also, 77.9 percent said prior Diet approval should be required for the prime minister to deploy the SDF overseas in logistic support of foreign military forces.

Abe's Cabinet approval rating edged up 1.2 percentage points from the previous survey seven weeks earlier to 55.4 percent.

The Cabinet's disapproval rating was 32.7 percent, down 0.2 point.

Asked about a bill to raise the voting age to 20 from 18, 54.2 percent said they support it, while 41 percent are opposed.

The survey, conducted by Kyodo, made use of computers to randomly call 1,445 households across the country, and elicited valid answers from 1,016 eligible voters.