Various questions of the day: part 2 of 3


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NTV did a survey on a number of hot topics in the news right now – a lot of questions, but not much detail, so the exact meaning of some of the answers is up for debate. They carries out the survey from the 14th to 16th of this month, asking 1000 people but only getting 479 sets of replies, so it’s a bit of a small sample.

Q6: The Koizumi cabinet has re-submitted their Post Office privatisation bill for splitting it into four companies and has it passed into law. Do you support this establishment of the bill? (Bad, possibly wrong translation!)

Support it61.8%
Don’t support it26.9%
Don’t know, no answer11.3%

Q7: Of the 13 former LDP members who voted against the Post Office privatisation proposals in July, 11 of them voted in favour this time. Do you support the actions of these 11 who changed their votes?

Support their actions24.2%
Don’t support their actions64.7%
Don’t know, no answer11.1%

Q8: There is less than one year to go until Koizumi retires from leadership of the LDP. What would you most want him to accoplish during this time?

Resolve North Korea and kidnapping problems17.5%
Civil service reform8.4%
Financial and taxation reform20.5%
Public financial institutions merger or abolishment3.3%
Pensions review42.2%
Don’t know, no answer3.6%

Q9: There are about 600 GSDF troops deployed in Samawah, Iraq until the 14th of December. Please tell me your opinion about the GSDP deployment.

Deployment should be extended21.1%
Should withdraw in December61.4%
Should withdraw now13.8%
Don’t know, no answer3.8%

Q10: On the 17th of October is the Yasukuni Shrine Autumn Festival, and there is the view that Koizumi may very well attend. Do you support Koizumi woshipping there?

Support him47.6%
Don’t support him45.5%
Don’t know, no answer6.9%

A slight diversion – the Yasukuni Shrine has perhaps two aspects to it. The first is the enshrinement of Class A war criminals, which is the topic that most people seem to focus upon, but to me it seems very much to hinge on a technicality or two, and as such does not particulary interest me, especially as the other aspect is that the shrine is run by, apparently, a bunch of right-wing militaristic nut jobs, not to put too fine a point on it. Friends who have visited have noted that the text of many of the exhibits, in both English and Japanese, glorify the Second World War and the earlier East Asian adventures whilst glossing over, if not outright ignoring the evil that was committed in the process. A visit to their English homepage, for instance, reveals unapologetic nonsense like this, from their FAQ:

There were also 1,068 “Martyrs of Showa” who were cruelly and unjustly tried as war criminals by a sham-like tribunal of the Allied forces (United States, England, the Netherlands, China and others).

Can you really imagine a German leader, say, visiting a church that had a sign talking about how Goering was unfairly accused, or even a British leader visiting (in a not really official, honest, Guv kind of way) that statue of Bomber Harris near Trafalgar Square?

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