Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Public divided over immediate dialogue with China

NHK conducted a poll on Japanese public opinion concerning political issues. It found the public is divided over the need for immediate summit talks with China.

NHK conducted a telephone survey of nearly 1,600 people aged 20 or older from Friday to Sunday. 64 percent responded.

Asked about the timing of summit talks between Japanese and Chinese leaders, 32 percent said it is necessary to have them soon while 30 percent said there was no urgency.

Japanese prime ministers have not held talks with Chinese leaders since the government nationalized the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea in September, 2012.

The government insists that the Japanese-controlled Senkakus are inherent territory of the nation and there is no territorial issue to be resolved, despite claims on the islands by China and Taiwan.

The poll also says 57 percent approved Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's handling of foreign affairs while 38 percent disapproved.

Regarding the plan to move the US Marines' Futenma Air Station to Nago City on Okinawa, 30 percent supported while 19 percent opposed. 45 percent were undecided. The relocation plan is in line with an agreement with the United States.

Asked about exercising Japan's right to collective defense, 29 percent said the country should be allowed to do it while 22 percent said they disagree with such a move. 40 percent were undecided.