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Japanese cabinet's approval rate dives into 'danger zone': poll

Xinhua | Updated: 2022-09-19 08:57

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida speaks during a news conference at the prime minister's official residence in Tokyo, Japan Oct 14, 2021. [Photo/Agencies] 

TOKYO - The Japanese Cabinet's public approval rating plummeted to 29 percent, dropping below 30 percent into a "danger zone", Japan's newspaper Mainichi Shimbun's latest survey showed Sunday.

The latest opinion poll has shown that the support rate of the Japanese government headed by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida stood at 29 percent, down 7 percentage points from the 36 percent in the previous survey in August, a record low since Kishida took office in October 2021.

A public support rating below 30 percent 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 percent.

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 percent 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 percent who said they did not.

On Sept 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 percent opposed it, up 9 percentage points from the previous survey, while 27 percent were in favor.

The survey was conducted by Japan's newspaper Mainichi Shimbun and Japan's Social Survey Research Center from Sept 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 Sunday that the Japanese Cabinet's public approval rating dropped to 40.2 percent, a new low since its launch last year.

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

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