Survey finds support rating for Abe Cabinet at 48.1%, down 6.8 points


According to the latest Kyodo News poll released Sunday, the approval rating for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet has fallen to 48.1 percent, down 6.8 percentage points from the previous poll conducted in early September.

The latest telephone survey also showed that 65.9 percent of respondents were opposed to raising the consumption tax rate to 10 percent in October next year from the current 8 percent as required by law, while those in favor accounted for 31 percent.

The poll, which covered 1,015 eligible voters, was conducted Saturday and Sunday amid growing questions over the financial reports of political groups associated with trade and industry minister Yuko Obuchi and the alleged misuse of money by her political funds control body.

The survey was also undertaken as the economy remains sluggish following the consumption tax hike in April, with the government set to make a decision by year-end on whether to further raise the tax next year.

Abe’s economic policies were the top reason cited by respondents who did not support the Cabinet at 40.2 percent. Around 33 percent of them said they did not expect the prime minister’s policies to improve the economy.

In the survey, 84.8 percent of all respondents said they did not feel the economy has recovered.

With a group of ruling and opposition party lawmakers seeking to lift the ban on casinos in the country, 63.8 percent of the respondents expressed opposition to legalizing casinos, while 30.3 percent expressed support.

The poll also showed that 60.2 percent oppose allowing the nation’s nuclear reactors to resume operation, while 31.9 percent support their reactivation.

As for other policies promoted by Abe’s government, 55.9 percent said measures to encourage the promotion of women at corporations are not effective, while 40.8 percent said they are effective.

On policies to be put together for regional revitalization, 57 percent expect them to produce good results, while 40.2 percent said they have low expectations for them.