Abe Cabinet approval rate drops to 56%


The approval rate for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet has fallen to 56.2 percent from 68.0 percent in June, according to a Kyodo News poll, suggesting low expectations for the administration’s economic policies.

It is the first time since Abe took office in December that the support rate has fallen below 60 percent. The survey, conducted Monday and Tuesday after Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party won the Upper House election on Sunday, found that 31.7 percent of the respondents disapproved of the Cabinet, almost doubling the 16.3 percent in June.

Among those expressing disapproval, 29.6 percent — up from 20.6 percent — said the prime minister’s economic policies dubbed “Abenomics” do not offer much hope. This apparently reflects concerns about the slow increase in wages despite rising prices due to the weakening yen, Kyodo said.

The telephone poll of about 1,000 voters nationwide found 39.8 percent welcomed the LDP’s sweeping victory in the Upper House election, compared with 17.8 percent against it and 42.0 percent with either mixed, ambivalent or no opinion.

Given the poor showing by opposition parties, 68.8 percent of the survey respondents cited a need for realignment among opposition parties, against 22.7 percent who disagreed.

Because the LDP and opposition parties that support revising the pacifist Constitution fell short of building a two-thirds majority in the chamber, one of the conditions for initiating the revision process, 30.6 percent said the outcome was good, 16.1 percent said it was not good and 51.7 percent had no opinion.

Regarding the LDP’s desire to restart idled nuclear reactors once they are confirmed safe, 32.5 percent were in favor and 58.3 percent were against.

On the government’s plan to raise the consumption tax in April, 22.6 percent back it, 35.0 percent said the increase should be delayed and 40.5 percent favor the rate staying unchanged at 5 percent.

  • Far East

    56.2%? The NIkkei today reports 63% support rate ( http://e.nikkei.com/e/ac/tnks/Nni20130723D2307F01.htm ). Anyway, 56.2% remains very high. Numbers always need to be put in perspective, because it always amuses me how people try to deduct what people “think” from the way numbers change.
    So many heads of State would envy 56.2% support rate. For example, South Korean President Park Geun-hye has around 52%. UK David Cameron has only 37%, France Francois Hollande has around 20%, U.S. President Barrack Obama has around 47%. Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel has 49%, Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-Ying is at 46.7% and former Australia Prime Minister Julia Gillard was at 46%. Her replacement, Kevin Rudd is at 50%.
    Russia President Vladimir Putin is enjoying 63%, amazingly enough.
    So, as we can see, Shinzo Abe at 56.2% is a pretty strong support rate.

    • Saidani

      This represents a downward trend from the high 70s, something no politician would like. It also comes in the aftermath of a landslide election victory, again, not a positive sign. But now that the election is over, Abe has to do more than promise results or he will revisit his poor popularity from his first stint at the job.

  • Perhaps Japanese people would be more supportive of restarting the nuclear reactors if they understood the implications. i.e. If surveys asked people were they prepared to pay 5c/kWh more for electricity for the next decade, would they be prepared to do that….otherwise opinions are just another indulgence. You may as well as children to respond, and your pet dog.

    • David Vallejo

      The cost of the nuclear energy is not “as acurate” estimated as the rest of the energies. Who will pay the dismantling cost of Fukushima? who will pay the storage of the nuclear residues for thousands of years? It should be all energies evaluated properly and in the same conditions…. Accidents and Residues storage are never evaluated in nuclear when said that “it is a cheap energy”

      • The cost in this context arises from govt failed operation and regulation, though arguably people might consider Tepco a private corporation, but its state-owned, and energy policy, overtly govt-directed in terms of energy mix & planning. The risk was not unforeseen, it was discounted by govt. Who ever pays with govt failings? Its always some taxpayers. The cost of storing nuclear fuels is a manageable ‘cost’ if properly priced. I might add that new technology allows ‘spent fuels’ to be reused. It goes without saying that nuclear, indeed any plant, should require ‘private’ insurance.