• Kyodo News


The sharp fall in the Cabinet’s public approval ratings can be blamed on Kunio Hatoyama’s resignation Friday over his refusal to back the reappointment of the head of Japan Post, ministers said Tuesday.

State minister Akira Amari, in charge of administrative reform, said Hatoyama’s resignation as internal affairs minister “heavily affected” the Cabinet’s approval ratings.

Justice Minister Eisuke Mori said he “cannot deny” that Hatoyama’s resignation worked to push down the ratings.

Agricultural minister Shigeru Ishiba said he has “heard of many saying it was not appropriate to dismiss” Hatoyama over the matter.

Education minister Ryu Shionoya and Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada regretted a perceived delay in Prime Minister Taro Aso’s decision to put an end to the row over the reappointment of Yoshifumi Nishikawa as president of Japan Post Holdings Co.

Hamada said Aso should have acted earlier.

Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone called for an early investigation into the abortive sale of Japan Post’s Kampo no Yado resort inns, reportedly at fire sale prices, to the Orix group.

Seiko Noda, state minister for consumer affairs, said she had expected a decline in the Cabinet approval ratings over “the trouble involving personnel affairs.”

“There is no other way but to implement (the right) policies in order to push up the ratings,” Noda said.

Finance Minister Kaoru Yosano said he “stopped reading today’s newspapers after seeing the headlines” on the falling approval ratings. Otherwise, he had no comment.

“There is negative impact after a famous guy (Hatoyama) is sacked. But it will end in a week or 10 days,” said Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Toshihiro Nikai.

The Cabinet ministers made the remarks in their respective regular news conferences.

The Asahi Shimbun reported that the approval rating fell to 19 percent from 27 percent a month earlier, while the Yomiuri Shimbun said the approval rating fell 6.6 percentage points from a week earlier to 22.9 percent.

The Nikkei business daily reported the Cabinet’s approval rating fell 5 points from last month to 25 percent.

A weekend Kyodo News poll found the support rate at 17.5 percent, down 8.7 points from the previous poll in May.

The media organizations took their polls after Hatoyama’s resignation.

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