politics

57% oppose sending SDF to Middle East: survey

29 Comments

Over half of voters oppose dispatching Japan's Self-Defense Forces to the Middle East for a U.S.-led coalition to protect shipping in the Strait of Hormuz amid heightened tensions with Iran, a Kyodo News survey showed Sunday.

In the nationwide telephone poll conducted Saturday and Sunday, 57.1 percent said Japan should not send the SDF to the region, while 28.2 percent said it should.

The United States has urged Japan to join the coalition but Tokyo is cautious about sending the Maritime Self-Defense Force to the strait as it could undermine its friendly ties with Iran.

The Japanese government is considering sending MSDF destroyers and surveillance planes to the Bab el-Mandeb Strait between Yemen and the Horn of Africa rather than participating in the U.S. effort, with SDF activities overseas restricted under the war-renouncing Constitution, government sources said earlier this month.

The survey also showed that the approval rate for the cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe rose to 50.3 percent, up 1.7 percentage points from the previous poll conducted after the July 21 upper house election. Abe's ruling camp scored a solid win in the election, though it and other lawmakers supportive of amending the pacifist Constitution lost the two-thirds majority required to initiate constitutional reform.

The disapproval rate stood at 34.6 percent, down 3.6 points.

Regarding the country's deteriorating relations with South Korea, 62.4 percent said they were concerned about the future path of bilateral relations, while 32.4 percent said they were not.

Bilateral relations have degenerated since South Korean court rulings last year ordering Japanese companies to compensate victims of forced labor during Japan's 1910-1945 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula.

The Japanese government placed new restrictions on exports of some materials for use in chips to South Korea on July 1, citing "significant damage to the relationship of mutual trust." The tighter export controls were followed by the countries deciding to remove each other from their preferential trade lists.

In the survey, 68.1 percent expressed support for the removal of South Korea from the list, while 20.1 percent were opposed.

As for the government's plan to raise the consumption tax to 10 percent in October from the current 8 percent, 51.3 percent opposed the plan, down from 55.9 percent in the previous survey, while 43.3 percent expressed support, up from 39.8 percent last month.

The tax hike is expected to hurt tepid consumer spending at a time when the escalating U.S.-China trade dispute is threatening to slow global growth.

By party, the LDP was supported by 40.9 percent of respondents, the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan by 10.0 percent and the Komeito party, the LDP's junior coalition partner, by 5.1 percent.

The Japanese Communist Party and Reiwa Shinsengumi were both supported by 4.3 percent of respondents, while the Japan Innovation Party was at 3.8 percent and the Democratic Party for the People at 1.4 percent.

The survey, covering 738 randomly selected households with eligible voters as well as 1,276 mobile phone numbers, obtained responses from 515 and 516 people, respectively.

© KYODO

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

29 Comments
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57% oppose sending SDF to Middle East

I hope Shinzo Abe and LDP get the message this time or will they go against the will of the people living in Japan?

We all know it wouldn't be the first time...

-9 ( +4 / -13 )

hope Shinzo Abe and LDP get the message 

Pretty sure they'll listen to the minority on that one. It's their modus operandi

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

Since WWII Japan has kept out of wars. If they obey the US this will change and Japan will be in never ending military disputes around the globe. Why would Japan support its occupiers, its dictator?

Japan, regain your sovereignty and freedom from the US.

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

43 to 57% is not a great wide margin. These 57% are the insulated "heiwa-boke" people who think that the nice lifestyle and amenities in Japan are free. No need for Japan to join any misdirected "coalition", but certainly if the JSDF exists to protect Japanese lives and property, the Japanese owned and controlled oil tankers need to be escorted. Their presence alone may deter any attacks.

5 ( +13 / -8 )

Japan, regain your sovereignty and freedom from the US.

It did in 1952, or did you miss that in history class?

6 ( +9 / -3 )

I think the question should be: "Are you or your children willing to be sent to the middle east as part of the SDF?". If people aren't willing to sacrifice their own and their childrens' lives they shouldn't expect others to be asked to do so.

It's called the "self defence force". Getting involved in an argument between two dumps on the other side of the world (Saudi Arabia and Iran) has nothing to do with the defence of Japan. Leave them to fight amongst themselves.

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

A strong Japanese Military means a peaceful Japan. The sight of Japanese destroyers in the coast off Iran will surely deter these terrorists and protect the Japanese trade.

43 to 57% is not a great wide margin. These 57% are the insulated "heiwa-boke" people who think that the nice lifestyle and amenities in Japan are free

Well argued OssanAmerica. Its a very, very slim margin. PM Abe and Minister Kono will gain the public understanding on this.

-1 ( +11 / -12 )

Protecting Japanese interests (ships) is neither getting involved in a war nor taking sides in any argument. It would be taking action as a "self defense force". No particular country is taking credit for the recent attack on a Japanese vessel. Therefore the ships would be escorted to protect them from acts of terrorism and piracy. Not engage in any "war".

6 ( +12 / -6 )

A strong Japanese Military means a peaceful Japan. 

That was the same rhetoric that got Japan obliterated in WWII. Most of the people in these polls and actually vote are old people. The majority who disapprove remember the hard life that followed the war. Those who approve are the old people who are more upset about the embarrassing loss. They trying to rewrite history like Abe and the failure of his grandfather.

-9 ( +6 / -15 )

Well argued OssanAmerica. Its a very, very slim margin.

It’s pretty decisive.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

References to WWII are simply stupid. Japan today is nothing like the Japanese Empire with the military controlling the government. Not to mention the first paragraph of Article 9. Do some actual reading up on what Japan was like for the people through the 1930s and 40s. Shinzo Abe addressed a joint session of the US Congress and received a standing ovation. Only Chinese and Korean nationalists harp on Abe and WWII forever.

https://www.house.gov/feature-stories/2015-5-4-japanese-prime-minister-addresses-congress

7 ( +14 / -7 )

Only Chinese and Korean nationalists harp on Abe and WWII forever.

This is clearly incorrect.

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

Better to keep the JSDF in Japan because of unfriendly neighbors who keep building fake islands in other people's waters and torturing Tibetan monks & nuns.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

. Therefore the ships would be escorted to protect them from acts of terrorism and piracy. Not engage in any "war"

Lolololololololololoololololololol

No harm in wishful thinking I guess!!

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

US bases in Japan protect the U S from a distance and at the same time jointly protect allies. If bases weren’t here, there would need to be a whole lot more aircraft carriers.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

What's that saying? Everyone wants to eat, but not everyone is will to hunt. Fits the Japanese to a tee...

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Japan Should be very careful getting involved in Trump's brinkmanship against Iran. Other than the half hearted and impotent UK, nobody else wants any skin in the game. If it came down to it, it would take Iran a few minutes to totally destroy the US navy along with wiping out all US bases in the Gulf! Iran is not Iraq. Bluffing and boasting won't get Trump anything. He is a shyster, just like Mubarak Hussain Obama was.

-14 ( +0 / -14 )

OssanAmericaToday  09:15 am JST

43 to 57% is not a great wide margin. These 57% are the insulated "heiwa-boke" people who think that the nice lifestyle and amenities in Japan are free.

I agree with the heiwa boke but you don't get to count the abstentions on your side :-)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Lulldapull, while I am no Trump supporter or blindly pro USA, your assessment of Iran’s military capability is delusional.

The UK has and had a military presence in the gulf long before this, it’s purpose is not aggressive but supportive of allies and freedom of navigation and for such the ships there are sufficient. It’s not a war fighting force.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

If the Japanese Merchant Navy are serving the country and feel endangered they should request the government to send a SDF fleet to protect and aid them on their voyages through dangerous waters. The merchant seamen serve the country without any self defense.

The Japanese navy is the 4th large in the world and have the ships to send a fleet, if requested.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Wow 57% is not far from our JT poll last week that showed 54% of readers voting no.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

US bases in Japan protect the U S from a distance and at the same time jointly protect allies.

The US military is also in Japan to make sure they don't pull anymore surprise attacks on the US and the surrounding neighbors. Remember, they beat Germany in WWI only to fight them again in WWII.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

There are about 50,000 U.S. Military in Japan, the second highest after Germany.

There are also about 40,000 dependents of the troops

1 ( +1 / -0 )

SELF defence force. It's in the name. Is the middle east in Japan?

Wish the US had an SDF. Could've saved lots of lives and money.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

If the SDF are to go there then they should do so as a protection force... if you go in with a war posture it will only inflame things even more. Several destroyers or missile frigates are all that's needed for protection. Leave the battle groups to America - let them take the heat.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Well, whatever comments we write here, the Japanese Voting population won't read. They voted for Abe, and one of Abe's Policies is to renounce Article 9:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Article_9_of_the_Japanese_Constitution

So, once that's been done, the current and future Governments can do what they please with their currently Massive Military resources. And those youngsters serving in the armed forces, will eventually start to realize just what it means to be in Combat situation - some will not come back alive. Once that happens, I wonder what the Populace will do ?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

juminRheeToday  07:22 pm JST

SELF defence force. It's in the name. Is the middle east in Japan?

Doesn't matter where the location is. The "SELF" refers to individuals and property that are Japanese. Merchant vessels under Japanese flag and/or under Japanese control fall into that category no matter where they may be.

mmwkdwToday  10:15 pm JST

Well, whatever comments we write here, the Japanese Voting population won't read. They voted for Abe, and one of Abe's Policies is to renounce Article 9:

Abe's policy is to renounce the Second Paragraph of Article 9, which states that Japan can not have a military force. This is in contradiction with reality since Japan's SDF is already a sizable military force.

Abe has repeatedly stated that he does not advocate changing the First Paragraph of Article 9, wherein Japan denounces the use of war as a means of settling diplomatic disputes. In other words, the heart of the "Peace Constitution".

1 ( +1 / -0 )

OssanAmerica:

This is a slippery slope that the US had implemented. Despite being an actual military, originally, america was just the country proper, then it became the embassies and consulates, but then it became US persons (primarily military troops as observers) anywhere in the world. By that logic, the US sovereign territory is the entire world and other countries be dimmed. Just don't get their oil shipped that way. Good opportunity for Japan to buy some Canadian and American oil. Everybody's happy...except the chickenhawks and MIC.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Japan itself have low birth rate problem.

If it will send some of its healthy people to fight in wasteful wars in middle east, then how japan will survive ?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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