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Monday, 3rd October 2011
In General Japan News,

Majority of Japanese oppose tax proposal to fund relief effort

A proposed increase in income tax or corporate tax to fund the Japanese relief effort following the March 11th disaster has been rejected by 58 per cent of the population.

That is according to a recent Mainichi poll, which further suggested there was a strong political divide regarding the tax proposal.

For instance, 75 per cent of New Komeito supporters were against the idea, while 56 per cent of Democratic Party of Japan supporters were in favour of the tax.

Nationwide, 39 per cent of respondents wished to see the tax introduced, however, the overall lack of support suggests the government is likely to face further pressure to decrease annual expenditure and increase non-tax revenues.

The survey also questioned whether the population was in favour of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's move to restart nuclear reactors that had been suspended following the events earlier this year.

Support for the move won a majority of 50 per cent against 47 per of respondents who did not want to see reactors switched back on.

When asked whether they would support Noda's administrations' call for the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito to join in on policy debate, 77 per cent of respondents revealed they were in favour of this.

However, Noda's proposals to speed up the relief effort were largely unconvincing as 73 per cent of people surveyed said his actions would have no effect in speeding up the restoration process.

Furthermore, seven per cent of respondents said they believed the process would in fact slow down, while just 18 per cent believed it would speed up.

Since coming into office, Noda's popularity has declined, resulting in a 6 point dip in support for the cabinet, with an approval rate of 50 per cent and a disapproval rate of 22 per cent.

Last month, Noda pledged to restore hope and pride to the nation after the devastation caused by the twin tragedy.

Posted by Graham McPherson