Disapproval of Kishida Cabinet surpasses approval rating for 1st time, Yomiuri poll shows

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The reshuffled second Cabinet of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida gathers for a photo on Aug. 12.

For the first time since Fumio Kishida became prime minister on Oct. 4, 2021, more people disapprove than approve of his administration, according to a Yomiuri Shimbun poll.

The disapproval rating for the Kishida Cabinet was 46%, just ahead of the approval rating of 45%, the nationwide poll conducted over the weekend showed. This was the first time his approval rating dropped under 50%.

Compared to the approval rating of preceding prime ministers’ cabinets, however, the 45% the Kishida Cabinet garnered is not at a low level.

Behind the fall in support are likely the public’s severe criticism of the relations politicians, mainly from Kishida’s Liberal Democratic Party, have or have had with the group widely known as the Unification Church; inflation; and the carrying out of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s state funeral.

The Yomiuri Shimbun

The Kishida Cabinet’s approval rating dropped five percentage points from the previous poll on Sept. 2-4 and was 20 percentage points lower than the 65% marked in the July poll conducted just after the LDP emerged victorious from the House of Councillor’s election.

The disapproval rating was at its highest since Kishida became prime minister, up five percentage points from the previous poll.

Only 41% of the people polled said it was good that the state funeral was held, while 54% said it was not. In the previous poll, 38% approved the decision to hold the state funeral, showing that even after it was held the views on the event had not improved.

As for politicians’ connection with the religious group officially called the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, 80% of respondents said they did not think Kishida was showing leadership over the issue. Even among LDP supporters, 71% felt the same way.

As for inflation, 73% said that they did not appreciate how the government has been handling the situation.

Asked how long respondents want Kishida to stay in office, 39% replied until September 2024, when his term as LDP president expires, while 15% answered they want him to remain as long as possible, down six percentage points from the August poll conducted after the reshuffling of the cabinet.

When asked which party respondents supported, 40% said the LDP, 5% the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, and 37% said they did not support any party. These were all the same percentages recorded in the previous poll.

The latest poll was conducted Saturday and Sunday by calling 701 landlines and 1,668 mobile phones through the random digit dialing method. All respondents had to be eligible voters and a total of 1,089 respondents gave valid answers, with 411 on landlines and 678 on mobile phones.