74% in Japan support engagement in the Taiwan Strait: Nikkei poll
TOKYO – A large majority of the Japanese public support the government’s commitment to the search for peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, a Nikkei and TV Tokyo poll found.
This commitment was cited in the joint statement released by US President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga after their April 16 summit. Says the document.
It was the first time since 1969 that the Taiwan issue had been included in a leadership statement between the two countries. China has not given up on the use of force to achieve reunification with the autonomous island.
In the poll, 74% of respondents supported Japan’s commitment to stability in the Taiwan Strait, while 13% opposed it.
Dissected by party, engagement was favored by 80% of those who identified themselves as supporters of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and around 70% of those who support coalition partner Komeito. The Japanese engagement was also popular among supporters of opposition parties, with 77% supporting the approach.
Approval of engagement in Taiwan exceeded disapproval in all age categories. Support came from 74% of those over 60, 80% of those surveyed in their 40s and 50s, and 69% of those aged 18-39.
For the Biden-Suga meeting, in which the two leaders started calling each other “Joe” and “Yoshi,” 50% of respondents gave a boost, while 32% did not. . The summit scored slightly lower than the first meeting between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Donald Trump in 2017, which received 58% approval.
Suga’s approval rating was 47%, roughly on par with the 45% in the March survey. But 65% of respondents said they did not approve of his administration’s handling of the coronavirus, the highest rate of disapproval to date. It has jumped 10 percentage points from the last time.
The poll was conducted Friday through Sunday in Japan by Nikkei Research. People over the age of 18 were interviewed by telephone and 1,026 valid responses were counted.