Perhaps I’m being a bit too free with my interpretation of the figures, but this recent survey from @Nifty into constitutional amendment focusing in particular on Article 9, the clause that renounces war, showed narrow support for revision, which is significantly more for revision than other opinion polls.
From a foreign English-language media point of view, the discussion of constitutional reform focuses almost solely on Article 9, and gives the impression that the new wording of said Article will be that Japan vows to invade China and North Korea at the earliest opportunity. The reality is much, much more interesting, but rubbish like that sells newspapers. And don’t get me started on writers who use the “ultra-nationalist” cliche…
Here’s a nice photo of an Article 9-supporting coffee shop, or something:
Q1: About how much do you think the average person understands the need for changing the constitution? (Sample size=2,744)
100% 1.2% 75% 5.6% 50% 29.6% 25% 42.1% 0% 21.4%
Q2: After a constitution amendment passes through parliament, there will be a referendum. If this happens, will you vote? (Sample size=2,744)
Definitely 83.0% Perhaps 12.9% No 4.1%
Q3: Do you think that Article 9 (the Article that outlaws war as a means of settling disputes) should be amended to include mention of the Self-Defence Forces? (Sample size=2,744)
Male Female Yes 31.5% 13.2% Perhaps 19.9% 20.7% Perhaps not 10.8% 16.7% Not at all 29.0% 26.8% Don’t know 8.9% 22.6%
Q4: If Article 9 were to be amended to include mention of the Self-Defence Forces, what effects would it have? (Sample size=2,744, multiple answer)
Male Female Would get mixed-up in allies’ wars 39.3% 51.1% The meaning of the Peace Constitution would disappear 35.8% 42.6% If Japanese got into trouble overseas, it would be possible to evacuate them quickly 31.6% 30.1% Concerned conscription would return 26.3% 26.8% Self-defense forces would be more united in their activities 26.9% 15.1% Relationships with other Asian countries would worsen 24.9% 24.0% Japan could have a greater presence, role in PKO and other international activites 26.4% 16.5% Defence budget would increase and Japan’s balance of payments would worsen 24.9% 25.9% Japan will become a country that can declare war itself 24.7% 21.9% Japan would be attacked by terrorist organisations 15.3% 22.1% Civilian control of the forces would be destroyed 16.4% 14.1% Japan would become close to a dictatorship 9.9% 10.1% Other 5.7% 4.2% No particular effect 9.3% 4.2% Don’t know 6.6% 12.2%
Q5: Since Japan has Article 9, do you think that Japan will not be invaded by another country? (Sample size=2,744)
Think so 14.9% Don’t think so 66.7% Don’t know 18.4%
The over-sixties had the most trust in the Peace Constitution with 18.2% reckoning it protected Japan from invasion, while just 7.2% of those in their forties thought so.
Q6: If the constitution is revised, the government has said universities and other tertiary education will become free. What do you think about this free education? (Sample size=2,744)
Agree 6.78% Agree with conditions 37.9% Oppose 42.7% Don’t know 12.7%
Older people opposed this proposal more; just 29.6% of the under-thirties opposed, while 45.9% of the over-sixties did.
Q7: Frankly speaking, should the constitution be revised? (Sample size=2,744)
Yes 29.0% Probably 25.2% Perhaps not 22.4% No 23.4%
Between the 2nd and 8th of February 2018 2,744 members of the @nifty monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. No further demographics were presented.