Survey: 59% Japanese support smacking ban

TOKYO (The Japan News/ANN) - About 60 per cent of people support a legal ban on physically punishing children, according to a recent Yomiuri Shimbun survey.

Fifty-nine percent of those polled favored the idea of legally prohibiting parents from physically punishing their children, while 24 percent opposed such a ban.
 The nationwide poll was conducted from Friday to Sunday in connection with bills submitted to the current Diet session by the government to revise the Child Abuse Prevention Law and other legislation.
 In all age groups, figures for respondents in favor of the ban exceeded those against.
 The outcome of the survey pointed to some differences among age groups in the degree of support for the ban. The percentage of pollees aged 18 to 29 who supported the ban stood at somewhat less than 70 percent, while that for respondents in their 30s to 60s was somewhere in the 50 percentage range, and 60 percent for those aged 70 or older.
 Meanwhile, the approval rating for the Cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stood at 50 percent, nearly unchanged from 49 percent in a similar survey conducted from Feb. 22 to 24. The disapproval rate was 35 percent, down from 40 percent in the previous poll.
 According to the latest survey, 17 percent of the respondents said they think there has been an improvement in the economy under the Abe Cabinet, compared with 22 percent in a December 2018 poll. Seventy-three percent of the pollees said they do not think the economy has recovered, compared with 70 percent in the December survey.
 The latest survey included a question on an idea that has been floated within the LDP in recent weeks: the possibility of Abe leading the LDP for a fourth term. Asked whether Abe should be allowed to continue serving as prime minister even after completing his current third term as LDP leader in September 2021, 51 percent said he should not, while 35 percent said he should be allowed to.
 Among respondents supporting the ruling parties, 56 percent said Abe should be permitted to continue serving in the position of prime minister, with 31 percent saying he should not be allowed to.
 LDP regulations state a party president is allowed to serve in that position for up to three consecutive terms lasting for nine years.
 Abe has denied that there is a possibility he will serve as LDP leader for a fourth consecutive term.
 The survey also addressed a question concerning whether the international community should use dialogue or pressure in the effort to resolve North Korea’s nuclear and missile problems. Forty-five percent of respondents favored pressure, somewhat higher than the 41 percent of those favoring dialogue.
 The same question was asked in a survey conducted in July last year: 46 percent favored dialogue, with 45 percent favoring for pressure.
 These figures compare with the outcome of a survey conducted in June last year after the first U.S.-North Korea summit meeting — dialogue was chosen by 48 percent of respondents, with 39 percent favoring pressure.

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