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69% in Japan call for country to accept more Ukrainian evacuees: Mainichi poll

Ukraine's national flag (Mainichi/Shinsaku Mano)

TOKYO -- Sixty-nine percent of those surveyed in a nationwide opinion poll in Japan on April 23 said that the government should accept more evacuees from Ukraine amid the Russian invasion.

    The poll was conducted by the Mainichi Shimbun and the Social Survey Research Center. When asked about the Japanese government's acceptance of Ukrainian evacuees, 69% said the country should take in more refugees, greatly surpassing the 14% who said that it is "unnecessary to accept any more people." Seventeen percent of respondents answered they did not know what the government should do.

    According to the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), over 5 million refugees have fled outside Ukraine. Over 600 evacuees have entered Japan, including the 20 individuals who arrived on April 5 via Poland aboard a Japanese government plane.

    The survey also asked respondents about sanctions against Russia. In response to a question asking whether economic sanctions should be bolstered, such as by imposing a ban on coal imports, even if it leads to higher prices for daily goods, 70% pushed for stronger sanctions, far outstripping the 18% who said such a move was unnecessary. While energy and food prices have been on the rise amid the Ukrainian crisis, the Japanese government has announced it will phase out Russian coal imports and has been stepping up other sanctions against Russia.

    Regarding the Japanese government's response following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, 51% of respondents said they "evaluate it highly," while 21% expressed disapproval and 28% said they "couldn't say either way." Japan has partnered with other G-7 nations to carry out economic sanctions against Russia. It has also provided Ukraine with bulletproof vests, helmets and other gear, and is set to extend $300 million in loans to Ukraine.

    The approval rating of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's Cabinet stood at 50%, almost the same level as in the previous poll on March 19, which recorded a support rate of 48%. The disapproval rating was 34%, down 4 percentage points from the previous survey.

    The survey was conducted using a combination of the text messages on mobile phones and an automated voice questionnaire on fixed-line phones. A total of 714 valid responses were received from mobile phones and 304 valid responses from landlines.

    (Japanese original by Nanae Ito, Political News Department)

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