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Thursday, December 07 2023

Tokyo: Japanese cabinet’s approval rate dives into danger zone

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Tokyo: The Japanese Cabinet’s public approval rating plummeted to 29 per cent, dropping below 30 per cent into a “danger zone”, a new poll has revealed.

The poll conducted released on Sunday showed that the support rate of the government headed by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida stood at 29 per cent, down 7 percentage points from the 36 pe rcent in the previous survey in August, a record low since he took office in October 2021, reports Xinhua news agency.

A public support rating below 30 per cent is commonly viewed as a “danger zone” for the cabinet.

The approval rating of Japan’s main ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) also dropped 6 percentage points from the previous poll to 23 per cent.

The sharp drop in the approval ratings for the Cabinet and the LDP is blamed partly on Japanese politicians’ controversial links to the religious group of Unification Church.

Only 12 per cent of respondents said they “approve of” Kishida’s response to the issue of Japanese politicians’ ties to the Unification Church, far less than the 72 per cent who said they did not.

On September 8, the LDP said its in-house survey has found that 179, or nearly half of its Diet members, had some links with the church.

Since the survey was based on self-reporting, most of the respondents were not convinced.

As for a state funeral for former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, 62 per cent opposed it, up 9 percentage points from the previous survey, while 27 per cent were in favour.

The survey was jointly conducted by newspaper Mainichi Shimbun and the Social Survey Research Centre from September 17 to 18, through a combination of text messages on mobile phones and automated voice questionnaires on fixed-line phones.

A total of 642 valid responses were received from mobile phones and 422 valid responses from landlines.

The drop in the approval ratings was echoed by surveys conducted by several local media.

The latest Kyodo News survey showed on Sunday that the Cabinet’s public approval rating dropped to 40.2 per cent, a new low since its launch last year.

Its latest disapproval rating in the weekend survey, a record 46.5 per cent, exceeded the approval rating for the first time since Kishida took office in October, according to Kyodo News.

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