The public approval rate for Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori’s administration is up 1 percent to 33.4 percent but remains far below his disapproval rate of 58.2 percent, according to a Kyodo News poll released Wednesday.
The latest poll, conducted Saturday and Sunday, shows that his disapproval rate declined by 1.7 percent compared with the previous survey, which was carried out in July.
More worrying for the prime minister is the admission by the largest group of people who support him that they do so through default, saying that they back his Cabinet because there are no other suitable politicians to support.
This was followed by 24.1 percent who said they trust the prime minister and 17.8 percent who said they support the administration because it is a coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party, New Komeito and the New Conservative Party.
Those who were supportive of the government’s policies on administrative reform, economic management and diplomacy totaled less than 5 percent in each case.
While Mori appears to be pushing his pet themes of information technology innovation and education reform, the poll suggests that his enthusiasm has had little impact on the public.
A breakdown by party affiliation shows that Mori’s Cabinet is favored by 65.5 percent of the LDP’s supporters and 53.3 percent of those who back New Komeito. Only 9.6 percent of those who do not support a particular party liked the Cabinet.
When asked why they do not support Mori’s Cabinet, many pointed to the prime minister himself, with 27.3 percent saying he lacks leadership qualities and 21.8 percent saying they do not trust him.
Those groups were followed by 13.6 percent who said they have no confidence in the administration’s economic policies and 9.9 percent who said they do not support the government because it is a coalition.
A further 9.5 percent said they do not like Mori’s personality.
As for the parties supported, 35.2 percent of those polled said the LDP, a drop of 0.9 point. The Democratic Party of Japan saw its support rate drop by 2.6 points to 19.4 percent, apparently due to the recent arrest of a party member embroiled in a fraud scandal.
New Komeito increased its support rate by 0.6 point to 4.7 percent, while the Liberal Party managed to gain 1 point to 4.9 percent.
The Japanese Communist Party edged down 0.4 point to hit 3.9 percent, while the Social Democratic Party saw its rate drop 1 point to 4.7 percent.
The percentage of those who do not support a particular party rose by 2.9 points to hit 23.3 percent.
The New Conservative Party received a support rate of 0.3 percent, while the Mushozoku no Kai had 1 percent and the Liberal League 0.3 percent.
The poll was based on interviews conducted Saturday and Sunday with 1,925 randomly selected people over the age of 20.
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