Regional opinion poll reveals opposition of 58% to Henoko relocation and 68% to Futenma Air Station remaining in place

Regional opinion poll reveals opposition of 58% to Henoko relocation and 68% to Futenma Air Station remaining in place


April 1, 2016 Ryukyu Shimpo

The Okinawa Prefectural Government carried out an opinion poll among Okinawan citizens in 2015 relating to regional security. One question asked was “Do you support or oppose the Japanese government’s plan to relocate Futenma Air Station to Henoko in Nago City?” In answer, 58.2 percent said they oppose it, and 25.5 percent said they support it, less than half in comparison to those who oppose. Another question was “Can you accept Futenma Air Station remaining in place?” The answer was overwhelmingly “I cannot accept it” at 68.6 percent, in comparison to only 6.7 percent who answered, “I can accept it.” These numbers show strong popular will opposing both the Henoko relocation plan and Futenma Air Station remaining in place.
For the first time in 2015, levels of certainty within support or opposition were specified on this opinion poll.

In total 25.5 percent of respondents said they support the plan. The answer “I support the plan” accounted for 13.5 percent, and “If I had to say one way or the other I would say I support the plan” accounted for 12 percent. Out of the 58.2 percent of respondents who oppose the plan, 44.6 percent said, “I oppose the plan” outright, and 13.6 percent said, “If I had to say one way or the other I would say I oppose the plan.” The remaining respondents said they were not sure at 15.3 percent, and 1 percent did not answer the question at all.

Out of respondents to “Can you accept Futenma Air Station remaining in place?” 23.3 percent said they were not sure, and 1.4 percent did not respond.

Both the 2014 and 2015 versions of this opinion poll asked if US Forces, Japan (USFJ) has a positive or negative image, including the “If I had to say one way or the other” wording. In 2014 32.8 percent of respondents said the USFJ has a positive image, and 45.6 said it had a negative one. In 2015, 28.3 percent responded that the USFJ has a positive image, and 53.8 percent reported a negative image. That marks an 8.2 percentage point increase in the negative image from the year prior.

The questionnaire document was sent to 3000 men and women between the ages of 15 and 74. Of those who received it 1265 people answered it, at a 42.2 percent response rate.

(English translation by T&CT and Erin Jones)

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