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84% of Japanese concerned about Trump administration: Kyodo survey

A majority of 83.8 percent of Japanese people are concerned that
the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump could create global
instability, according to a Kyodo News survey conducted Saturday and
Sunday.

Only 13.1 percent of respondents in the nationwide telephone
survey said they are not concerned about the administration of Trump,
who was sworn in on Jan. 20 and has pushed an "America First" agenda
on trade and immigration.

Meanwhile, the support rating for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's
Cabinet stood at 59.6 percent, up 4.8 percentage points from the
previous survey conducted last month. The disapproval rating stood at
27.2 percent.

Concern in Japan over ties with the United States has grown
since Trump withdrew from the 12-country Trans-Pacific Partnership
free trade pact, initiated by his predecessor and championed by Abe.

The president has also accused Japan of trade practices in the
automobile sector that are "not fair" to U.S. companies, while it
also remains uncertain how far Washington will commit to defending
Japan under the countries' security pact.

The two leaders reaffirmed the importance of bilateral ties
during a telephone conversation Saturday, ahead of their talks in
Washington on Feb. 10.

Regarding Japan-U.S. ties, 54.6 percent of the respondents said
relations will deteriorate, 34.4 percent said bilateral ties will
remain the same and 4.5 percent said they will improve.

In the latest survey, 52.6 percent favored pursuing a bilateral
trade deal with the United States, while 36.4 percent said there is
no need.

On other key issues, 63.3 percent said they favored the
establishment of a permanent system to allow future emperors as well
as Emperor Akihito to abdicate rather than special one-off
legislation, while 26.9 percent supported the government's plan for
one-off legislation.

Of the respondents, 73.8 percent said the eligibility of members
of female imperial branches to ascend the throne as well as allowing
female members to remain within the imperial family after marriage
should be discussed, while 21.1 percent said there was no need for
such discussion.

On changing the Constitution while Abe is in office, 45 percent
expressed opposition while 43.7 percent expressed support.

The survey also found that 48.3 percent believe Abe's
administration is ultimately responsible for a scandal over the
education ministry illegally helping a senior official to land a
post-retirement job, while 43.9 percent do not.

As for a bill criminalizing conspiracy to commit terrorism, 42.6
percent said they were in favor while 40.7 percent were not.

In the poll, 42.5 percent of respondents said they supported
Abe's ruling Liberal Democratic Party, while the Komeito party, the
LDP's junior coalition partner, was backed by 3.6 percent. The
largest opposition Democratic Party was supported by 7.3 percent. (Jan. 29)