Most Japanese oppose nuclear power, support consumption tax, poll finds


TOKYO (majirox news) — An overwhelming number of Japanese want nuclear power abolished and do not support Prime Minister Yosihiko Noda’s government; yet, the same people believe that the consumption tax should be raised, according to a poll taken by the Asahi Shimbun and published Feb. 14.

The Asahi called households Feb. 11 and Feb. 12 throughout Japan and posed questions about ongoing issues that face the Japanese. The biggest question was, “Do you, or do you not, support Prime Minister Noda and his Cabinet?” The percentage of those in support slipped to a record low of 27%, while the percentage of those not in support rose to 49%.

On one of the big hot-button issues facing the voters, the Asahi asked, “Do you agree or disagree that nuclear energy should be gradually scaled back and, in the future, abolished?” An overwhelming 66% of all respondents said that they thought nuclear energy should be abolished.

However, the biggest possible surprise was related to the consumption tax. The Asahi asked, “Do you think that, in order to maintain the social security net at its present level, the consumption tax should be raised?” Sixty percent of all respondents said that an increase was necessary, while only 30% were opposed to a tax hike.

The survey included a number of other questions that dealt with internal politics and Okinawa. What emerged was a portrait of the Noda government that was out of step with its people. The only possible exception related to the majority view was that the consumption tax ought to be raised, in order to ensure that social benefits are properly funded in the years to come.

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