Yomiuri Survey: Approval Rating for Japanese Cabinet Unchanged at 35%

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida entering the Prime Minister’s Office in Tokyo on Thursday morning.

The approval rating for the Cabinet of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida remained unchanged at 35% in a recent Yomiuri Shimbun survey, indicating that Wednesday’s Cabinet reshuffle has had little impact on the administration’s popularity.

The Yomiuri Shimbun conducted its public opinion poll Wednesday and Thursday following changes within the Cabinet and leadership positions of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party. The previous poll was conducted from Aug. 25-27.

The latest survey result confirms that the Cabinet’s approval rating has remained at 35% for three consecutive months since a July 21-23 poll.

In the most recent sounding of prevailing sentiment, only 27% of those surveyed said they appreciated the changes in the Cabinet and LDP leadership as a whole, while 50% said they did not. The disapproval rating for the Cabinet stood at 50% from the previous survey.

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Some 72% of respondents said they were fans of the increase in the number of female Cabinet ministers to five — tying for the highest number ever.

Meanwhile, 54% expressed appreciation of the decision to retain digital minister Taro Kono, while 34% held the opposite view.

Regarding LDP leadership appointments, 32% of respondents favored the retention of Secretary General Toshimitsu Motegi, but 42% balked at the move.

The appointment of former Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Yuko Obuchi as chairperson of the party’s Election Strategy Committee was seen positively by 37% of pollees, but was not by 44%.

Some observers have opined that Obuchi has failed to adequately explain a political fund scandal involving her related political organization.

When asked how long they wanted Kishida to stay in office, the majority of respondents (54%) said “until next September, when his term as LDP president expires,” falling from 56% in the May survey.

In this connection, 27% of those who answered said they wanted to see Kishida replaced “immediately” — representing a rise from 15% in May — while 14% said they wanted him to stay “as long as possible” — down from the May figure of 26%.

When asked which issues they would like the Kishida Cabinet to prioritize — with multiple answers allowed — 87% of respondents chose “the economy and employment”; 86% selected “measures to deal with high prices”; 69% opted for “measures to cope with the declining birthrate”; 68% picked “social security, including pensions,” and 66% selected “measures to deal with the treated water from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant and related harmful rumors.”

When asked how they would vote in the next proportional representation race of the House of Representatives, 32% espoused the LDP, down from 34% in the July survey; 13% favored Nippon Ishin (Japan Innovation Party), falling from 15%; and 7% preferred the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDPJ), slipping from 8%.

When quizzed on which party they support, 31% of answerers identified the LDP, up from 30% in the previous survey; 6% chose Nippon Ishin, unchanged from the previous survey; 4% embraced the CDPJ, up from 3%; and 41% said they did not support any particular party, dipping from 44%.

The telephone-based survey employed a random digit-dialing method and valid answers were returned by a total of 1,088 eligible voters: 416 people from 834 households with landline phones, and 672 of 1,879 mobile phone users who answered their phone.