Approval of Kishida Cabinet Sinks to New Low of 23%; Japanese Public Rebuffs Law Revision, Fixed Tax Cuts

The Yomiuri Shimbun

The approval rate for the Cabinet of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida fell to 23%, the lowest level since its inauguration in October 2021, according to the latest Yomiuri Shimbun poll.

The survey was conducted from Friday to Sunday. The latest approval rate was down by 3 percentage points from the 26% seen in the previous survey conducted from May 17 to 19.

Disapproval of the Cabinet inched up to 64% from 63% in the previous survey.

The revision of the Political Funds Control Law and fixed-amount tax cuts, measures on which Kishida took the initiative, were not well-received. Public distrust of his administration has apparently not been erased.

Approval of the Cabinet has been on the 20% line, which is regarded as a dangerous level, for eight consecutive months. The previous low was the 24% seen in November last year, and in January and February this year.

Among those who did not support the Kishida Cabinet, the largest portion, or 36%, said they can not expect much from the Cabinet’s policies.

This was followed by 22% who said they cannot trust the prime minister and 16% who said the prime minister does not show sufficient leadership.

More than half of the respondents who support the Cabinet, 57%, said there was no appropriate person to replace Kishida.

About the revision of the law, 34% evaluated it positively overall, less than the 56% who said they did not.

In the wake of alleged violations of the Political Funds Control Law by factions of the Liberal Democratic Party, the revised law toughened penalties on lawmakers who break the law and measures to secure the transparency of political funds, among other elements.

A key element of the revised law is that the name and other information on people who purchase tickets for fundraising parties must be disclosed for those who purchase over ¥50,000 worth of tickets per event. Previously, such information only had to be released for people who bought over ¥200,000.

Asked whether the law revision could help resolve problems of politics and money like those seen in the fundraising scandal, 19% said it could and 73% said it could not.

To a question about whether Prime Minister Kishida has shown leadership as the LDP president regarding political funds scandals, 17% said they thought he had and 78% said they did not.

Fixed-amount tax cuts that reduced taxes by ¥40,000 a year per person were introduced in June to help cope with rising prices. Asked about this measure, 36% evaluated it positively but 59% did not.

Regarding how long they wanted Kishida to serve as prime minister, only 12% of respondents said they wanted him to continue as long as possible, while 54% said they wanted him to serve until the end of September this year when his term as the LDP president expires. Another 29% said they wanted him to be replaced immediately.

Asked about what kind of administration they want to see after the next House of Representatives election, 46% said they hoped that an LDP-led administration would continue. That figure was up from 42% in the previous survey.

The percentage of respondents who hoped there would be a shift to an administration led by parties now in opposition was unchanged at 42%.

The LDP’s support rate fell to 25% from 27% in the previous survey.

The Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan fell to 6% from 7%; the Japan Innovation Party rose to 6% from 4%; and Komeito was unchanged at 3%. The Japanese Communist Party was also unchanged at 2%; Reiwa Shinsengumi fell to 2% from 3%; and the Democratic Party for the People rose to 2% from 1%.

Those who do not support any specific party rose to 47% from 46%.