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Wednesday, July 22, 2015, 12:12

Poll reveals popular support for Japan's charter

By Xinhua

 Poll reveals popular support for Japan's charter
Civic group members hold placards and chant anti-government slogans in Tokyo on July 14, 2015 to protest against Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's controversial security bills. (AFP PHOTO / Yoshikazu TSUNO)

TOKYO - A recent poll shows 60 percent of respondents want the Japanese constitution to remain unchanged, while 32 percent favored a change, local media reported.

According to a poll conducted by Kyodo News Agency, though Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is seeking to amend the country's fundamental law, more people compared with 20 years ago - when a poll suggested that 55 percent hoped to see no changes - support retaining the country's pacifist constitution.

The Abe government changed the interpretation of the Constitution in July last year to lift a ban on collective self- defense. Security related legislations which will formalize the change are currently being deliberated in Japan's parliament - the Diet.

Regarding the constitution's provisions, 88 percent of respondents said what they hoped to see remained unchanged was Japan's renunciation of war and ideals of pacifism, followed by respect for basic human rights backed by 51 percent of the respondents.

Of the respondents, 67 percent said Abe should offer an apology for Japan's colonial rule and aggression before and during the World War II in his landmark statement to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of the war next month.

Asked about Japan's proposed security policy changes, 66 percent of respondents felt Japan was very likely to be involved in war in the future and said the country was headed in a wrong direction, as did 56 percent of those viewing Japan's future involvement in war as "likely to some extent."

Kyodo News undertook the mail-based poll during May and June to assess public opinion 70 years after the end of WWII. Of the 3,000 randomly-selected adults, 63.2 percent sent back responses.

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