Cabinet’s approval rate slips to 71%


The approval rating for the Cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe slipped 1.7 points from the previous opinion poll but remains sky-high at 71.1 percent, according to a Kyodo News survey released Sunday.

The survey, conducted over the weekend, showed 62.7 percent of the respondents support Abe’s announcement that Japan will enter the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade liberalization negotiations, while 29.5 percent voiced their opposition.

It also found that 71.8 percent believe Abe’s government should continue to participate in the multilateral free-trade talks until the other TTP member states accept Japan’s argument that critical farm produce should be exempted from complete tariff elimination.

Despite Abe’s recent pledge to protect the country’s agricultural and food industries, farmers continue to vehemently oppose joining the U.S.-led TPP, amid fears the regional trade framework would result in an influx of bargain-basement farm imports.

On Abe’s economic and fiscal policies, 71.1 percent of the respondents backed his extreme monetary easing, the survey showed. Only 22.7 percent were found to oppose what has come to be dubbed “Abenomics.”

On the transfer of the U.S. Futenma base in Okinawa, 55.5 percent supported the government’s handling of the controversial issue, including the land reclamation application to the prefectural government. Those critical of the Abe administration’s stance came to 37.6 percent, according to the survey.

The government filed the application Friday in hopes of breathing life into the long-stalled relocation of U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma on Okinawa Island, as per a bilateral accord with Washington.

  • landrau

    The idea that the other countries will allow Japan to protect farm produce, especially rice while joining TPP is laughable. Adapt, compete and change. This is how free trade works. Yes change is horrible, but you become better for it; you develop new industries that are bring in comparable revenue for your work force. No one wants to pay $16 for 2kg of Japanese rice.

  • Critical thinking is needed right now for Japanese people. Just following the leader will lead to ruin our nation like about half a century ago.

  • Protecting the farmers is what makes Japan experience high food prices. If free trade, then drop all protectionist albatross. Free trade will ensure cheaper farm inputs and foodstuff–win-win.

    • Christopher-trier

      Food prices in the USA are almost as high as those in Japan.

      The USA also subsidises its farmers heavily undermining small farmers in other countries.