85% see risk of Japan being involved in war

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — A Cabinet Office public opinion survey has shown that the proportion of Japanese who see Japan at risk of getting involved in a war stood at 85.5 percent, the highest since the poll began in 1969.

The result, announced on Saturday, apparently reflected North Korea’s series of provocations last year, including a nuclear test and launches of ballistic missiles that flew over Japan.

The interview-based survey, which was conducted in January, covered 3,000 people aged 18 or over across the country. Valid responses came from 55.7 percent.

In the survey, 38.0 percent saw the risk of Japan being involved in a war while 47.5 percent said that Japan is more at such risk than not.

By contrast, 10.7 percent said they believe that Japan is in no such danger or think so rather than otherwise.

The survey on Self-Defense Forces and national security issues is conducted every three years. This time, the survey included for the first time questions about Japan’s new national security laws, which came into force in 2016 to allow the country to exercise the right to collective self-defense and expand the scope of SDF activities abroad.

In a multiple choice question asking what SDF action permitted by the laws will serve Japan’s national security, 42.4 percent pointed to a mission to protect and rescue Japanese citizens in emergencies abroad.

A total of 41.7 percent noted that the SDF is authorized to deal with a situation in which foreign countries in close relations with Japan, such as the United States, come under armed attacks, for the defense of Japan.

Also, 33.3 percent said the SDF can help a foreign military addressing a situation that, if left unattended, could develop into a direct armed attack on Japan.Speech

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