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60%-plus expect no resolution of N. Korean nuclear, abduction issues: Mainichi poll

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (Mainichi)
In this photo released by the Ministry of Communications and Information of Singapore, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, is greeted by Singapore Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan at the Changi International Airport, Sunday, June 10, 2018, in Singapore, ahead of a summit with U.S. President Donald Trump. (Ministry of Communications and Information Singapore via AP)

Fully 70 percent of respondents in the latest Mainichi Shimbun opinion poll said they do not expect the North Korean nuclear and missile issues to be solved despite the agreement between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula reached at their June 12 summit in Singapore.

Only15 percent were hopeful and another 15 percent had no opinion, according to the nationwide telephone poll covering 1,063 people conducted on June 23-24.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is eager to hold a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, but some 66 percent in the poll said they do not expect a resolution to the issue of Pyongyang's abductions of Japanese nationals. Some 18 percent did expect a resolution, while 16 percent gave no answer.

Meanwhile, the approval rating for the Cabinet of Prime Minister Abe was at 36 percent, up 5 percentage points from the previous survey in late May. The disapproval rating was down 8 points to 40 percent.

When asked whether Kotaro Kake, who runs the Kake Gakuen Educational Institution implicated in favoritism allegations linked to Prime Minister Abe, should be called to the Diet as a sworn witness, 55 percent said he should testify, while 30 percent replied there was no need. Some 15 percent of respondents had no opinion.

As for a package of government sponsored bills designed to expand discretionary working rules by removing working hour caps on certain "professional" job categories, while limiting overtime hours on other jobs, 43 percent were opposed and 30 percent expressed support. More than a quarter had no answer.

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party leadership election is scheduled for this fall, and 21 percent of survey respondents said they want Abe to be chosen for a third consecutive term. Those supporting Shinjiro Koizumi, son of former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, came second with 18 percent, and backers of former Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba made up 17 percent of respondents. Those who said the six candidates listed in the poll did not include their favorite stood at 18 percent, while 17 percent had no opinion.


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