Sixty-three percent of respondents to a recent Mainichi Shimbun poll expressed their support for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s declaration on March 15 that Japan will join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade negotiations.
The Mainichi poll, taken March 16 and 17, shows that 27 percent were against the move.
When asked about the economic stimulus measures known as ”Abenomics,” 65 percent thought the steps would help promote economic recovery while 30 percent said they don’t expect such a boost.
The support rating for the Abe Cabinet jumped to 70 percent, up 7 percentage points from the last poll in February while only 14 percent disapproved of the Cabinet, down 5 points.
Around 60 percent of respondents in their 30s and older back Japan’s participation in the TPP talks. But those in their 20s are opposed to the TPP initiative, as compared with 47 percent who approved of it, reflecting the young generation’s anxiety over fewer job opportunities due to market-opening measures. By region, opponents outnumber supporters (53 percent versus 40 percent) in Hokkaido, Japan’s largest agriculture center.
The Abe Cabinet’s 70 percent approval rating topped the 67 percent support rate registered by his previous administration in 2006-2007. The incumbent Cabinet is supported by 93 percent of supporters of his ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), 74 percent of those of the LDP’s coalition ally New Komeito, 71 percent of those of the Japan Restoration Party (JRP) and 69 percent of those of Your Party. Among supporters of the main opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), 45 percent approved of the Cabinet but 47 percent did not.
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