Cabinet support rate off to 68% amid bourse fall

Kyodo

Support for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet dropped to 68 percent in the latest poll from 70.9 percent last month, a Kyodo News survey showed Sunday.

It is the first time since January that the Cabinet approval rating has fallen below 70 percent. Analysts say recent stock market turbulence is believed to have weighed on the support rate, but high expectations for Abe’s economic policies are expected to support his administration ahead of the July Upper House election.

The disapproval rating stood at 16.3 percent, up a tad from 16.2 percent in the previous survey.

In a telephone survey conducted Saturday and Sunday, 65 percent of respondents said they expect positive results from “Abenomics,” or the economic policies being pursued by Abe, to turn around Japan’s deflation-battered economy, against 29 percent who replied they are not expecting much.

The latest nationwide survey covered 1,440 eligible voters, of whom 1,010 responded.

On Abe’s controversial proposal to revise Article 96 of the Constitution to make constitutional amendments easier, 51.6 percent opposed the proposal, topping 50 percent for the first time since March, when the question was added. Some 37.2 percent expressed support.

The survey also found 49.8 percent supported Japan’s export of nuclear power technology as promoted by Abe, while 43 percent were against it.

As for Japan’s current monetary easing policy, 25.6 percent said it should be maintained and 20.2 percent called for a review, while 50.3 percent said they had no opinion on the matter.

Asked which party they will vote for in the proportional representation section of the House of Councilors’ election this summer, 44.6 percent of respondents said they will support the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, up 0.2 point, followed by 7.9 percent who said they will vote for the Democratic Party of Japan. That figure was up 1.1 points.

New Komeito came in third at 6.4 percent, up 2 points, while Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) fell to fourth place at 4.5 percent, down 1.2 points, following party co-leader Toru Hashimoto’s contentious remarks about wartime sex slavery, which drew harsh criticism both at home and abroad.