• Kyodo News

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The public support rating for the Cabinet of Prime Minister Naoto Kan has risen slightly to 38.7 percent, up 2.4 percentage points from the previous survey last month, according to a Kyodo News poll released Monday.

Combined with a 7.4-point decrease in the Cabinet’s disapproval rating to 44.8 percent, the poll results give Kan’s government and his Democratic Party of Japan some respite following its disappointing results in last month’s Upper House election.

In another development favorable for the DPJ, the candidate it supported was elected Sunday as governor of Nagano Prefecture.

In the survey conducted Saturday and Sunday, Kan topped the list of favorites for the DPJ presidential election to be held in September. He was backed by 37.2 percent of the respondents, followed by Seiji Maehara, currently the minister of land, infrastructure, transport and tourism, at 14.6 percent.

They were followed by Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada at 7.8 percent, former DPJ Secretary General Ichiro Ozawa at 5.3 percent, and Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Kazuhiro Haraguchi at 4.7 percent.

Those who said they either “approve” or “more or less approve” of a consumption tax hike to pay for fiscal rehabilitation and social security measures accounted for a combined 57.1 percent, up 4.6 points from the previous survey conducted July 12 and 13.

In the July 11 Upper House election, the DPJ and coalition partner Kokumin Shinto (People’s New Party) lost their majority in the chamber.

By political party, the support rate for the DPJ came to 32.3 percent, followed by the LDP at 25.7 percent, Your Party at 15.4 percent and New Komeito at 5.2 percent.

The poll was conducted by telephone on 1,457 randomly selected voters nationwide, of whom 1,030 gave valid answers.

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