Sunday, July 21, 2013

Matthew Penney (The Asia-Pacific Journal): Public Opinion and the July 21 Election in Japan

 Viral on FB:  Garei Zamamiya's photo of Yohei Miyake,
 respected musician, Greens candidate in Japan's parliamentary election, 
campaigning for "Nuclear-Free, TPP-Free, and politics for the people by the people" in Shibuya today. 

Some excerpts from Matthew Penney's analysis of the July 21 election in Japan at The Asia-Pacific Journal:

Article 9:
While it appears that a majority of the Japanese population support constitutional revision, they apparently do not want to make it easier to achieve. The same poll has 52% opposing revision of Article 9, the “peace clause”, with 39% supporting revision. Even among conservatives, concern for the economy seems to far outstrip the longstanding project of constitutional revision. When voters were asked about what issues they believe are important for the July House of Councilors election, the constitution came dead last.
13% of Japanese want nuclear power done away with as soon as possible 24% want complete de-nuclearization by 2030, 22% want to see it done away with by 2040. 12% desire an end to reliance on nuclear energy sometime after 2040. 18% believe that Japan should continue to use nuclear power The portion of the Japanese population which expresses unqualified support of nuclear power has shrunk to a small minority. A full 71% express a desire to see nuclear power abolished. As with many political issues, however, economic growth seems central in the minds of Japanese voters. 
Even if Abe’s expected election landslide materializes... the Japanese political environment is still far from stable. An Asahi poll carried out on July 13 and 14 tells an interesting story. While Abe’s electoral success is undeniable, only 36% of those polled wish to see the LDP gain a majority on July 21. Other polls show support for key Abe policies such as participation in the TPP free trade agreement slipping steadily since March. Landslide or no, the public still has many questions, and it remains to be seen whether Abe and the LDP have the answers.

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