The approval rate for Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s Cabinet stood at 52.9 percent in January, down 4.2 percentage points from the previous month, a Kyodo News poll of 1,007 people showed Friday.

According to the telephone survey, conducted Jan. 26 and 27, 75.0 percent of respondents believe the gap between the rich and the poor has grown. Over half of those polled also urged the Cabinet to rethink its reform drive.

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