• Kyodo


A majority of people continue to support Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet after Sunday’s Upper House election but are skeptical of the effectiveness of his economic policies and not supportive of the constitutional revision he seeks, according to a Kyodo News survey.

In a telephone survey conducted Monday and Tuesday, 56.4 percent of the respondents said they do not believe Abe’s economic policy mix can lift the economy, while 32.0 percent said they believe the measures will.

The support rate for Abe’s Cabinet stood at 53.0 percent, down from 55.3 percent in the previous poll conducted in late May, while the disapproval rating was 34.7 percent, up from 33.0 points.

On the Constitution, 48.9 percent of the respondents, down from 54.9 percent, said they are against making any amendments under the Abe administration, while 35.8 percent, up from 35.0 percent, expressed they approve of the move.

On the fact that parties considered to be in favor of making constitutional amendments now hold two-thirds of the Upper House seats, 24.2 percent of the respondents took the change positively. That compares with 28.4 percent who said it was bad. Forty-six percent said they are undecided.

Responses were also mixed over opposition forces’ efforts to jointly field candidates in single-seat electoral districts, with 43.4 percent saying they should continue such efforts, while 42.6 percent said they were against the move.

Thanks to its two-thirds majorities in both Diet chambers, the ruling bloc has the strength to propose constitutional changes and put them to a national referendum.

Of the respondents, 59.6 percent said deciding an important national matter in a referendum is desirable or relatively desirable.

On Abe’s decision to delay the planned consumption tax hike by 2½ years to October 2019, 52.0 percent expressed approval while 43.8 percent said they disapproved.

On voter turnout among young people following the lowering of the voting age from 20 to 18, responses were also divided, with 47.8 percent expecting that age bracket to participate at a higher rate and 48.0 percent disagreeing.

The support rating for Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party stood at 43.9 percent, down from 44.4 percent in May, while the main opposition Democratic Party was supported by 11.0 percent, up from 8.7 percent.

The LDP’s coalition partner, Komeito, was supported by 5.1 percent, up from 2.5 percent.

Those who did not support a particular party stood at 24.9 percent, down from 35.3 percent.

The nationwide telephone survey covered 1,463 randomly selected households with eligible voters, with valid responses collected from 1,011 people.

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