AMPONTAN

Japan from the inside out

Some numbers

Posted by ampontan on Wednesday, September 5, 2012

TODAY was a busy day with several errands, so I didn’t have the time to finish a post. Sankei Shimbun/Fuji TV released the numbers for their 1-2 September poll, however, and a quick look at those will do nicely as a substitute.

Q: What did you think of South Korea President Lee Myung-bak’s visit to Takeshima?

Can accept it: 8.2%
Cannot accept it: 88.2%
Other: 3.6%

Q: Should President Lee Myung-bak withdraw his statement to the effect that the Emperor should apologize if he visits South Korea?

Yes: 90.1%
No: 6.2%
Other: 3.7%

The South Koreans are trying to reassure themselves that the recent Japanese attitude is to be attributed to “right-wingers”. If that’s the case, the entire country is about 90% rightwing.

Q: Should the government take economic and financial measures against South Korea?

Yes: 59.8%
No: 32.2%
Other: 8.0%

Q: Do you think the forced repatriation of the Hong Kong activists who landed illegally on the Senkakus was appropriate?

Yes: 57.5%
No: 38.2%
Other: 4.3%

A no answer means they should have been prosecuted and jailed. A yes answer means pragmatism.

Q: What do you think of the Noda government’s plan to purchase the Senkaku islets for the government?

Agree: 73.4%
Disagree: 15.5%
Other: 11.1%

Q: Do you support the Noda Cabinet?

Yes: 26.6% (previous poll, 29.1%)
No: 62.6% (60.9%)
Other: 10.8% (10.0%)

The South Koreans are also trying to reassure themselves that Prime Minister’s behavior was an attempt to perk up his poor poll numbers. So much for that idea. I suspect the Japanese public would expect the same behavior in these circumstances — at a minimum — from any prime minister, so the numbers reflect domestic concerns.

Speaking of trying to boost one’s poll numbers, it’s widely assumed both in South Korea and Japan that President Lee’s visit to Takeshima and his comments about the Emperor were designed to goose his and his party’s popularity. He was sitting at 17% this time last month, and one South Korean newspaper poll had him picking up 9 percentage points as a result.

In other words, he’s climbed to Mr. Noda’s dismal level of support.

The things politicians do for a little — and I do mean a little — cheap popularity.

Other results reveal why Tanigaki Sadakazu is likely to be removed as LDP president in the upcoming party election. This is important because the LDP chief, whoever it is, could well be the prime minister before the year is out.

Q: Which of the two party leaders do you think is more suited to be prime minister?

Noda Yoshihiko: 45.2%
Tanigaki Sadakazu: 21.3%
Other: 33.5%

Don’t forget that Mr. Noda’s approval ratings were only 26.6%

Q: Which of the two party leaders do you think has greater leadership ability?

Noda: 42.5%
Tanigaki: 24.5%
Other: 33.0%

But here are the most important numbers of all:

Q: If a lower house election were held now, for which party would you cast your vote in the proportional representation phase?

DPJ (Current government): 17.4%
LDP (Primary opposition party): 21.7%
One Osaka: 23.8%

And One Osaka is still not officially a party yet (though that will change by the end of the week).

Japanese domestic politics is on the verge of a paradigm shift. It is not a question of if, but rather of when. This is an example in which the cliched campaign boilerplate of the Democrats in the United States is actually applicable for once: The Japanese public really is sick and tired of being sick and tired. To modify another cliche, they are (calmly) mad as hell, and they aren’t going to take it any more.

The English-language news media won’t understand it, the Chinese and the South Koreans won’t like it, and broadly speaking, most Japanese won’t give a flying fig about what any of them think.

*****
The name of the group is Boom Pan. The name of the song is Surfing Tuba. Yes, it is surf music with a tuba.

The Boom Pan promo blurb on their website says:

“A Mediterranean surf rock tuba-driven power trio, seasoned with dueling guitars and alcohol-soaked wedding party ecstacsy”

You’ve been warned!

One Response to “Some numbers”

  1. 21st Century Schizoid Man said

    Thumbs up for the music.

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