Recently the Excite News reported the following
Mainichi Shimbun carried out a nationwide public opinion poll on both 2nd and 3rd days. The approval rate for the Kan Cabinet dropped again into half, from the investigation did last time in September (64%) dropped sharply by 15 points.
Centering around the event that a Chinese fishing boat collided with the patrol boat of the Japan Coast Guard off Okinawa Prefecture at the coast of Senkaku Island, regarding the release of the Chinese captain, the response to the explanation given by the government that it was "Judgment of the prosecution", 87% of the reply said that"it is not possible to consent". The response that saying that "The government had to have shown political judgment" also went up to 80%, these criticism towards the government's response to the incident had caused the approval rating to decrease.
Prime Minister Naoto Kan in September broke the re-election of former chief secretary Ichiro Ozawa in the Democratic Party representative election. Afterwards the "De-Ozawa route" was taken through cabinet reshuffling and changing the party executive-level management, thus pushed up the last public opinion poll on the cabinet support rate to 64%. However, the violent fluctuation of the approval rate could be said that it showed passive support, and that difficulties in political management grew.
Concerning the fishing boat collision event, on September 8 when heard about the arrest of the Chinese captain, those saying that the judgement "Was appropriate" went up to 83%, regarding the right or wrong about his release on the 25th, those saying "It was not appropriate" accounted for 74%. Even among Cabinet and the Democratic Party supporters over 80 percent of the answer said that the explanation of the government that "Release is a judgment of the prosecution" was "Not possible to consent". The criticism gathered around that there was not enough explanation, that at the start the policy carried out was to arrest, and could not understand why later there was a change in responding.
Because of this event, the reply that the image of China "Worsened" had gone up to 44%. Regarding Japan-China relations in future "It was necessary to give priority to the insistence of Japan" was in the majority of 35%, and "It was necessary to speed up improvement in relations" and "Should keep a distance for a while" was 31%.
About the insistence by China and Taiwan that they had territorial right over the Senkaku Islands which belonged to the Okinawa Prefecture stone wall city, 64% said that "Have known it before". On the other hand, the answer that "This time, knew it for the first time" also has gone up to 34%.
This opinion survey has shown many interesting observation. It is a valuable tool to read into the minds of the Japanese regarding the conflict.