76.5 pct Japanese concerned over economy after tax hike

TOKYO, March 23 (xinhua) — About 76.5 percent of respondents of a poll released Sunday said they are concerned about the country’s economy as the government will raise sales tax from current 5 percent to 8 percent in April.

The nationwide survey conducted by Japan’s Kyodo News agency through telephone over the weekend found that 65.9 percent say no to further increase of the sales tax to 10 percent possibly in October 2015.

The poll result also showed that about 57.7 percent are opposed to the government’s attempt to lift the country’s self-imposed ban on exercising collective self-defense rights through revising constitution interpretation, up 6.7 percentage points from the previous survey, while 33.9 percent support it, down 5.0 points.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expressed his willingness on Saturday to prepare legislation to allow Japan to exercise the right to collective self-defense by saying that “what we need is to adopt behavior theory in line with reality and prepare legal infrastructure.”

Meanwhile, the support for Abe’s cabinet stood at 56.9 percent, up 3.0 points from the previous survey a month ago. (PNA/Xinhua)