• Kyodo


The support rating for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet has risen to 66.7 percent, up from 62.0 percent in the previous poll in December after the Liberal Democratic Party returned to power, an opinion poll by Kyodo News said Sunday.

In the nationwide telephone survey conducted Saturday and Sunday, 63.3 percent of respondents said they were satisfied with the government’s efforts in the Algerian hostage crisis, while 31.1 percent said they were not satisfied.

Meanwhile, 71.3 percent said they agree with revising the Self-Defense Forces Law to allow for the rescue of Japanese in conflicts overseas, while 24.9 percent opposed such an amendment.

In the survey, 37.2 percent of the respondents said they intend to vote for the LDP in the proportional representation section of the House of Councilors poll in the summer, compared with 12.1 percent for the newly launched Japan Restoration Party, coheaded by Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto and former Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara, 8.8 percent for the Democratic Party of Japan and 6.2 percent for Your Party.

On Abe’s initiative to end deflation, 51.8 percent welcomed the fiscal 2012 supplementary budget, which includes emergency economic measures centering on public works projects, while 62.0 percent said they agreed with the introduction of the 2 percent inflation target, according to the survey.

On the planned increase in the consumption tax rate, 75.6 percent said they expect the government to lower the tax rate on daily necessities such as food when it eventually raises the sales tax rate to 10 percent in October 2015 through the two-stage process, while 18.6 percent said they do not see the need for such a reduction.

In the survey, 53.0 percent agreed with Japan’s participation in negotiations on the U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade framework, which would require countries to eliminate tariffs without exception, while 35.4 percent were opposed.