Kishida Cabinet’s approval rating remains robust at 64%

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, center, and Cabinet ministers pose for a photo before a Cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office in Tokyo on May 31.

The Cabinet of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida had a 64% approval rating in a recent nationwide public opinion survey conducted by The Yomiuri Shimbun, marking the third straight increase since an April poll.

The approval rating for the Kishida Cabinet has remained high ahead of the House of Councillors election scheduled for next month. Strong support for the Cabinet’s handling of diplomatic affairs and the novel coronavirus pandemic, and the lack of any major errors are believed to have sustained the Cabinet’s ratings.

The disapproval rating in the latest poll conducted from Friday to Sunday stood at 26%, up from 23% in the previous poll conducted May 13-15.

The Cabinet had a 63% approval rating in the previous poll. The rating in the latest poll is only two percentage points shy of January’s 66%, the highest approval rating since the start of the Kishida Cabinet.

In his summit talks with U.S. President Joe Biden, Kishida laid out a stance of dealing strictly with China and Russia in cooperation with the United States, and 74% approved of this.

During the talks, Kishida expressed his resolve for a “substantial increase” in Japan’s defense spending. More than half of the respondents approved of a defense spending increase, with 34% approving of an increase ranging between 1% and 2% of the gross domestic product and 19% approving of an increase of 2% or higher.

However, more than 40% disapproved of higher defense spending, with 35% responding that defense spending should remain at the current level and 6% calling for a decrease.

With regard to Japan’s defensive capabilities, 72% approved of strengthening them, up by eight points from the April poll in which the same question was asked. This indicates approval for strengthening defensive capabilities is not necessarily linked to approval for a defense spending increase.

The Yomiuri Shimbun used random digit dialing to conduct the poll, calling landline and mobile phone numbers of eligible voters age 18 and older nationwide. The latest poll obtained 1,060 valid responses from 425 landline phone users and 635 mobile phone users.

45% will vote for LDP

Asked which party they will vote for in the proportional representation race of the upper house elections scheduled for next month, 45% of respondents said they will vote for the Liberal Democratic Party, up from 44% in the May poll.

The figure is the highest since the January poll when this question was first asked. Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Innovation Party) followed with 9%, down from 10% in May, and the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan with 7%, down from 8% in May.

In the June 2019 poll conducted directly prior to the previous upper house elections in July, 40% said they would vote for the LDP, 10% for the CDPJ and 6% for Ishin.