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52% of pollees want careful deliberations on 'anti-conspiracy bill': Mainichi survey

Fifty-two percent of respondents in a recent Mainichi Shimbun opinion survey said continued discussions over the so-called "anti-conspiracy bill" were needed despite the government and ruling coalition's intention to pass the legislation by the end of the current Diet session.

The Mainichi Shimbun carried out an opinion poll over the weekend on May 20 and 21. A majority of the pollees demanded careful deliberations on the bill to revise the Act on Punishment of Organized Crimes and Control of Crime Proceeds that would criminalize "acts of preparations to commit crimes such as terrorism." The percentage of respondents who favored continued discussions topped 50 among both supporters of the Cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and those who disapprove of the Abe Cabinet. Seventeen percent said they believe that the bill should be enacted in this Diet session, while 14 percent wanted the controversial bill scrapped.

When asked about the creation of branch houses of the Imperial Family to be headed by female members after it was reported that Emperor Akihito's eldest grandchild Princess Mako is getting engaged, 41 percent said such branch houses should be allowed, while 20 percent were not in favor of women-headed branch families and 25 percent said they didn't know. Under the current Imperial Family system, female members are removed from the family after marriage. As a countermeasure against the shrinking Imperial Family, however, some voice the need to allow for branch imperial houses headed by women, in which they remain in the family even after they are married.

Prime Minister Abe and the conservative camp remain cautious about the establishment of such branch houses as it could lead to a matrilineal emperor, whose father is not related to the emperor by blood. At the same time, even among those who support the Abe Cabinet, 42 percent said that female branch houses should be allowed.

When asked about the recent discovery of a document mentioning Abe's "will" in connection to a plan to set up a new veterinary department by Kake Educational Institution headed by his close friend, 54 percent of pollees said they wanted facts relating to the matter unveiled at the Diet, nearly double that of the 28 percent who said that was unnecessary.

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