Former Liberal Democratic Party Secretary-General Shigeru Ishiba is the public’s top choice as Japan’s next leader now that gaffes and scandals have damaged Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s image, a poll says.
According to the poll, conducted by Jiji Press, 18.0 percent of the respondents chose Ishiba versus 14.4 percent for Abe. Ishiba placed third in the previous survey last November.
In third place was LDP Chief Deputy Secretary-General Shinjiro Koizumi at 13.1 percent, followed by LDP Policy Research Council Chairman Fumio Kishida at 8.8 percent.
They were followed by Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike with 7.9 percent and Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Seiko Noda at 4.5 percent.
Support for Koizumi and Koike remained nearly unchanged, but Kishida, who assumed the key LDP post last week, and Noda, who has returned to the government after a stint away, attracted far more support than in the previous survey.
The survey also found that 51.8 percent object to the idea of Abe remaining LDP president if he wins the LDP’s next leadership election in September 2018, versus 32.4 percent who support the idea.
About 15.7 percent said they do not know.
The four-day survey through Sunday was conducted through interviews with 2,000 people 18 or older and drew valid responses from 64.9 percent.