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Abe Cabinet climbs to 41.7% in latest opinion poll

JIJI

Public support for the Cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has climbed to 41.7 percent this month, up 3.2 points from August and surpassing the disapproval rate for the first time in seven months, an opinion poll showed Friday.

It is the first time the Cabinet’s support rate has topped 40 percent since February.

The disapproval rate dropped 2.3 points to 36.6 percent, according to the Jiji Press poll, which was conducted over four days through Monday.

Asked about their reasons for supporting the Abe Cabinet, with multiple answers allowed, 21.0 percent said there is no other person suitable to be prime minister, 10.4 percent said they trust him and 9.7 percent said Abe has leadership skills.

Among those disapproving, 22.0 percent said they cannot trust Abe, 16.0 percent said they expect nothing from the Cabinet and 10.6 percent said they do not support its policies.

The survey also showed that 36.7 percent of respondents oppose the government’s plan to relocate U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma from Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture, to the Henoko coastal area in Nago, also on Okinawa. This compared with 28.4 percent who back the plan and 34.9 percent who said they are not sure. The relocation plan will be the main issue in the Sept. 30 Okinawa gubernatorial election.

Among respondents who back Abe’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party, support for the relocation plan stood at 47.9 percent and disapproval stood at 26.3 percent.

But among respondents who back Komeito, the LDP’s coalition partner, the results were just the reverse. Disapproval stood at 52.9 percent and support at 27.5 percent.

Opposition also exceeded support among backers of the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, the Democratic Party for the People, and other opposition parties.

The support rates for the various parties came to 26.9 percent for the LDP, down 0.2 point, 4.4 percent for the CDP, down 0.2 point, 4.1 percent for Komeito, and 1.9 percent for the Japanese Communist Party.

The share of respondents who said they do not support any particular political party, however, stood at a whopping 59.2 percent.

The interview-based poll covered 2,000 people aged 18 or over across Japan. Valid responses were received from 62.0 percent.