Consistent with other recent polls, the results were decidedly tepid. 43% favored playing the supermajority card, 44% opposed. Meanwhile, support for the refueling mission narrowed, with 45% of respondents saying they support it, 43% saying they oppose it. In other words, support for the refueling mission has gone the wrong direction for the LDP during this marathon Diet session, which could run even longer now that the LDP and Komeito have agreed on a one-month extension to ensure the final dispatch of this
albatross bill. And support is far short of Yamasaki Taku’s two-thirds public support threshold beyond which the government could comfortably use its supermajority.
At the same time, the poll also recorded a slight rise in support for the LDP and a five-point drop in DPJ support, which probably doesn’t mean that much coming from Yomiuri.
There’s something farcical about this whole thing. Prime Minister Fukuda is now determined to see this issue through to the finish, even if the public is indifferent or opposed (and despite Mr. Fukuda’s noticeable lack of enthusiasm about the bill). The DPJ has put off submitting its own proposal for the duration of the Diet session.
If by the end of the session the new bill passes, I’m certain that Washington alone will be pleased with the outcome. Enjoy it while it lasts, because I don’t think there’s a chance that the Fukuda government — provided there still is a Fukuda government in a year’s time — would bother renewing the law when it expires after a year.