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Almost 60 percent of respondents to a recent poll want Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to stay in power until his term as Liberal Democratic Party president expires in September 2006.

The nationwide telephone survey by Kyodo News, which covered 1,021 voters picked at random, was conducted Monday and Tuesday to mark the fourth anniversary of the beginning of the Koizumi administration.

According to the survey, the public appreciates Koizumi’s structural reform policies and the achievements of his Cabinet.

Fifty-nine percent hope Koizumi stays in power until his term expires, but 33.6 percent do not.

Those who said they appreciate the Koizumi administration’s achievements over the past four years came to 57.4 percent, compared with 41.4 percent who do not.

The Cabinet’s approval rating came to 46.5 percent, up 2.7 percentage points from the previous survey in March. The disapproval rating fell 4.7 points to 38.3 percent.

Meanwhile, 55.6 percent responded negatively to Koizumi’s efforts to improve ties with China in the wake of a series of massive anti-Japan protests there.

Among the nonsupporters, 13.8 percent said they do not like his diplomatic policies, compared with 6.3 percent of those polled in the previous survey.

The result indicates the public is becoming irritated with the bilateral stalemates reached with China and Russia, and North Korea’s abduction of Japanese nationals.

The survey also showed 44.9 percent support postal privatization, while 33.3 percent are opposed.

As for party approval ratings, the LDP came in at 33 percent, up 1.9 points; the opposition Democratic Party of Japan at 17.3 percent, down 7.4 points; ruling coalition partner New Komeito at 2.9 percent, down 0.6 point; the Japanese Communist Party at 2.2 percent, down 0.2 point; and the Social Democratic Party at 1.9 percent, up 0.1 point.

Among the respondents, 40.8 percent said they do not support any party, up 5.1 points.

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