Kishida Cabinet gains 63% approval rating on Russia sanctions, COVID-19 handling

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida holds a press conference in Tokyo on April 26.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s Cabinet gained a 63% approval rating in a recent nationwide poll conducted by The Yomiuri Shimbun, up from 59% in the previous one last month.

Accordingly, his Cabinet disapproval rating dropped from 29% to 23%.

The recent poll was conducted from Friday to Sunday, while the previous one was conducted from April 1 to 3.

Even among opposition party supporters, the approval rating was 56%, exceeding the disapproval rating of 37%. The results were a reversal from the previous poll, which showed a 40% approval and 53% disapproval rating among such supporters.

Government policies against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its handling of the coronavirus pandemic were strongly supported. Specifically, 75% said they supported Kishida’s decision to ban Russian oil imports in stages, while 62% responded that they believe Kishida took appropriate measures regarding the invasion, climbing two months in a row from 58% in the previous poll.

Meanwhile, 62% approved of the government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, exceeding 60% for the first time since this question was first asked in February 2020.

As for the government’s decision to limit eligibility for the fourth dose of COVID-19 vaccination to people age 60 and older, and those age 18 and older with underlying diseases, 44% supported this measure as reasonable, 29% said eligibility should be expanded, and 22% said the fourth shot was unnecessary.

Regarding the policy of easing border restrictions and allowing foreigners to enter Japan, 51% were in support, while 41% were opposed. If infection cases surge again, the government may face criticism.

A total of 86% said they felt the yen’s continued depreciation would raise prices and make life difficult, with 37% saying they “strongly” felt so and 49% saying they felt so “to a certain extent.”

Opinions were divided over the Bank of Japan’s monetary easing, with 40% saying the measures should be continued and 40% saying they should not.

The Yomiuri Shimbun used random digit dialing to conduct the poll, calling landline and mobile phone numbers of registered voters age 18 and older nationwide. The recent poll obtained 1,052 valid responses from 422 landline phone users and 630 mobile phone users.