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The just-launched coalition Cabinet of the Liberal Democratic Party and the Liberal Party is supported by 32 percent of those polled by Kyodo News, the same support rating Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi’s Cabinet received in July, it was learned Friday.

The telephone poll also showed that 44 percent of the respondents disapprove of the LDP-Liberal alliance, a disapproval rating 15 percentage points lower than a similar poll taken shortly after the launch of Obuchi’s LDP Cabinet last July.

Kyodo’s poll of 1,000 people took place Thursday evening, the same day the coalition was launched and Obuchi appointed Liberal Party’s Takeshi Noda to be his new Cabinet’s home affairs minister.

The recent approval rating for the new Cabinet was higher than Kyodo surveys based on face-to-face interviews, taken last November and in December, which showed approval ratings at 25 percent and 29 percent, respectively.

Asked for reasons for their support, 35 percent of those backing the LDP-Liberal coalition said they believe the new team will help stabilize politics, while 20 percent noted that it would enable quick decision-making.

On the other hand, 52 percent of those disapproving of the coalition criticized the alliance as only a marriage of convenience that will not stabilize the government. Twenty-six percent said the coalition merely marks a return to the LDP’s old days.

Asked which of the LDP-Liberal policy accords they support, 28 percent cited the agreement to cut Lower House seats by 50, while 23 percent mentioned Obuchi’s move to reduce the number of Cabinet ministers from 20 to 18.

Thirty-one percent of the respondents said they were happy to see Liberal Party leader Ichiro Ozawa stay outside the coalition Cabinet, while 19 percent replied that Ozawa should have taken up a Cabinet portfolio. About half of those surveyed said they were not sure.

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