• Kyodo


The support rate for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s nascent Cabinet stood at 62.0 percent against a disapproval score of 21.8 percent, an opinion poll by Kyodo News showed Thursday.

In the nationwide telephone survey of 1,031 people conducted Wednesday and Thursday, support for the Democratic Party of Japan, now an opposition party after its humiliating defeat in the Dec. 16 general election, was 8.6 percent.

Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party), led by former Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara, was in second place at 13.0 percent, after Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party, which earned 34.3 percent.

In contrast to Abe, 36.4 percent of the respondents said they place hopes in new DPJ leader Banri Kaieda, while 54.3 percent said they don’t. Kaieda, a former trade minister, replaced Yoshihiko Noda as party leader this week.

The opinion poll also showed 57.7 percent backing Abe’s appointment of two female lawmakers as top LDP executives for the first time since the party’s inception in 1955. Abe, also president of the LDP, picked Sanae Takaichi as policy chief and Seiko Noda as head of the decision-making General Council.

The respondents were split over Abe’s naming of former Prime Minister Taro Aso as deputy prime minister and finance minister, with 43.8 percent supporting the choice and 47.0 percent disapproving it, the poll showed.

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