Kishida Cabinet’s Approval Rating Remains Low at 25%, Low Expectations for Kishida, New Cabinet Members

The Yomiuri Shimbun

The approval rating of the Cabinet of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida stood at 25% in a Yomiuri Shimbun public opinion survey conducted nationwide from Friday to Sunday. The figure was almost unchanged from the previous survey (24%) conducted from Nov. 17 to 19, which marked the lowest approval rating since the Liberal Democratic Party came back to the reins of the government in 2012. The Cabinet’s disapproval rating stood at 63% in the survey, also largely unchanged from the previous survey (62%). The figure is the highest since the LDP’s return to power.

In the wake of a surfacing political funds scandal of an LDP faction once led by former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Kishida replaced four key Cabinet ministers, including Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno, but the approval rating continues to languish.

Regarding the problems surrounding the scandal and cabinet replacements, 59% said that they think Kishida bears responsibility, while 32% said they do not think he does. Only 19% of respondents replied they think he has exercised leadership in response and 73% replied they do not think he has.

About the replacements whom Kishida has appointed, 71% said they do not expect much from them, while 19% said they do.

Responses were split regarding the appointment of Yoshimasa Hayashi as the new Chief Cabinet Secretary, with 36% stating it was a positive choice and 38% not evaluating it as such.

On the topic of the LDP factions, a majority of respondents (59%) said the factions should be disbanded, whereas only 4% said the factions can remain unchanged. Thirty-four percent replied the faction system should continue to exist but needed to undergo reforms.

As many as 88% replied that the Political Funds Control Law needs to be revised, while only 7% said they do not think revision is necessary.

Respondents were asked to select one reason as to why they did not support the Kishida Cabinet. Responses included: they cannot expect much from Kishida’s policies (35%), Kishida does not have proper leadership (19%), they lack trust in the prime minister (18%).

Regarding about how long they want Kishida to remain as prime minister, 52% said until when Kishida’s term as the LDP president expires in September, 36% said they want the prime minister to be replaced immediately, and 9% said they want Kishida to stay in the post as long as possible.

Support rates for political parties remained largely unchanged. The LDP stayed at 28%, unchanged from the previous survey which had marked the first time support for the party fell below 30% since the LDP returned to power.

The Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan had a support rate of 5%, unchanged from the previous survey. Nippon Ishin (Japan Innovation Party) fell to 5% from 7%.

The percentage of respondents who do not support any specific party stood at 48%, the same as the previous survey.