More people disapprove of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s Cabinet than those who approve of it for the first time since the Cabinet’s inauguration last April, according to the results of a Kyodo News telephone poll.

The disapproval rating for Koizumi’s Cabinet hit a record 45.1 percent this month, up 5.8 points from the last poll in March, the survey showed.

The Cabinet’s approval rating, meanwhile, slumped to an all-time low of 43.4 percent, down 1.4 percentage points from a month earlier, according to the poll taken Wednesday and Thursday.

The poll’s results came after the resignation of former House of Councilors President Yutaka Inoue from the Diet on Thursday. The survey covered 1,775 randomly selected voters nationwide, of whom 1,045 participated.

The increase in Koizumi’s disapproval rating follows scandals involving former LDP Secretary General Koichi Kato and former LDP heavyweight Muneo Suzuki. Koizumi heads the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

Some 80.2 percent of those surveyed believed the Koizumi Cabinet would last only another six months to a year.

Some 44.3 percent said they approve of Koizumi’s structural reform plan “very much” or “to a certain extent,” while 54.8 percent said they do not approve of it “at all” or “(not) very much.”

Among those who disapprove of the Cabinet, 34.7 percent said they felt that way because they cannot expect an effective economic policy, up 4.5 points from the previous poll, while 16.8 percent said Koizumi is not demonstrating leadership, and 13.9 percent said they cannot expect political reform.

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