National / Politics

Abe Cabinet support rises to 55.4% in poll after reshuffle

Kyodo

The approval rating for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet has risen to 55.4 percent, up 5.1 percentage points from the previous poll in August, after he reshuffled his ministerial lineup and the leadership team of the Liberal Democratic Party, a Kyodo News survey showed Thursday.

The nationwide telephone poll conducted Wednesday and Thursday found 50.9 percent of respondents viewed the reshuffle positively, while 31.4 percent did not.

It also found that 47.1 percent opposed amending the pacifist Constitution under the government of Abe, who reiterated his determination to do so during a news conference following the leadership shake-up Wednesday. Nearly 40 percent supported his drive to revise the supreme law.

Of the 17 Cabinet changes Wednesday, Shinjiro Koizumi, who took the post of environment minister, grabbed the spotlight.

The appointment of the 38-year-old son of former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi was seen as an attempt by Abe to boost his popularity.

In the Kyodo News survey, 74 percent said they had high expectations for Koizumi, while 20.1 percent said they did not.

With two years left on his LDP presidential term, Abe is expected to accelerate work toward achieving his long-held goal of amending the Constitution.

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