Results from a recent survey conducted by the Asahi Shimbun newspaper showed that majority of the Japanese public are in favor of the country having immediate summits with China and South Korea. The poll, which was done on Feb 15-16, showed 52% of those who responded believe the government “should rush” holding meetings with its Asian neighbors, while 34 percent answered that there is “no need to rush” the talks.
The survey also showed a small decrease in approval rating the public has for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. It fell to 47% from a 50% favorable rating in January. A good 30% of the respondents answered that they do not support Abe’s administration. More people are also against the diplomatic stance Abe has taken with China and South Korea, with 48% saying they “did not approve” of it and 33% “approved of” it.
More than half of the respondents think that the worsening ties between Japan and its neighbors pose a problem for the nation. Of the 78% who sees it as a problem, 28% believes that the relationships have “significantly worsened.” On the issue of Abe’s controversial visit to the Yasukuni Shrine, 56% see the act to have a negative impact on the country, while 36% thinks otherwise. In terms of an educational system that mirrors the leaders’ stance on certain issues, 59% want “the system that is not dictated by them,” in contrast to the low 22% who wish for a system “that is more likely to reflect” the leader’s views. A high number of 75% also believes that government should separate politics from education.
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