A Kyodo News survey shows that some 56.9 percent of respondents have positive expectations for Renho, the new leader of the Democratic Party, while 38.4 percent do not.
But Renho is likely to face many challenges in achieving her ultimate goal of leading the DP back to power, as the ruling bloc currently controls two-thirds of the seats in both Diet chambers.
The poll, released Sunday, shows support for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet at 55.7 percent, up from 52.9 percent in the previous survey in August, with the disapproval rating standing at 30.0 percent.
The survey was conducted by telephone Saturday and Sunday.
The battle between Renho and Abe will really start when the Diet opens an extraordinary session Sept. 26.
Regarding ratification of the U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade pact, 73.2 percent of the survey’s respondents said the government should continue discussing the matter even after the upcoming Diet session ends.