70.2% satisfied with Abe-Trump talks, 19.5% dissatisfied: poll



A 70.2% majority of Japanese people are satisfied with recent talks between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump, while 19.5% said they are dissatisfied, according to a Kyodo News survey conducted Sunday and Monday.

The support rate for Abe’s cabinet stood at 61.7% in the nationwide survey, up 2.1 points from the previous survey conducted last month, against a disapproval rate of 27.2%.

Abe and Trump held their first official talks in Washington and in Palm Beach, Florida, on Friday and Saturday, where they confirmed plans to strengthen the bilateral alliance and to launch a high-level economic dialogue to cover trade, macroeconomic policy, as well as infrastructure and energy projects.

Trump did not criticize Japan over its sizable trade surplus with the United States, raise currency issues or attack Japan’s automobile trade during their summit in Washington on Friday, Japanese officials said, although prior to the summit, Trump had attacked Japan’s economic and monetary policies.

The latest survey found that 75.5% of the respondents did not understand why Trump issued an executive order that froze the U.S. refugee program and temporarily barred entry to nationals of seven Muslim-majority countries, while 16.9% said they did.

On domestic matters, 69.5% said the way Justice Minister Katsutoshi Kaneda had handled debate in the current Diet session over a contentious bill to criminalize conspiracy to commit terrorism was problematic. Only 14.1% said Kaneda’s handling of the matter was not problematic.

The justice minister has faced mounting criticism over his purported intention to suppress Diet debate on the bill.

He distributed and later retracted a rare statement to the media, which said discussions about the envisioned bill should be withheld for the time being and take place by a judicial affairs committee after the government officially submits it to parliament.


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