The public approval rate for Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s Cabinet fell 0.3 percentage point from the previous month to 29.0% in August, a Jiji Press opinion survey showed Friday.
It was the first time a Cabinet’s approval rating has stayed below 30% for two straight months since the launch of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s second administration in December 2012.
A public support rating below 30% is widely regarded as a danger zone for a Cabinet.
The poor rating came as a possible response to the Suga administration’s measures against the coronavirus, which has surged across the country in recent weeks.
The disapproval rate for the Suga Cabinet stood at 48.3%, down 1.5 points.
In the survey, conducted over four days through Monday, the share of people who did not support the government’s response to the coronavirus crisis came to 55.2%, down 3.9 points, while that of those who rated the response positively stood at 25.7%, up 3.0 points.
Respondents who answered neither or said they do not know accounted for 19.1%.
The share of respondents who believed that the pace of progress on COVID-19 vaccinations has been slow came to 72.4%, far higher than the 16.3% who rated the progress as smooth.
With multiple answers allowed, 14.1%, the most frequent answer among the respondents who approved of the Suga Cabinet, said there is no other person suitable to be prime minister, followed by 6.5% who said they trust Suga and 5.2% who said there will be no change no matter who becomes prime minister.
Among those who disapprove of the Suga Cabinet, 27.1%, the largest group, said they expect nothing from him. A lack of leadership skills was also cited by 27.1%.
The support rate for Suga’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party rose 2.3 points to 23.7%, and that for Komeito, the LDP’s coalition partner, grew 2.0 points to 4.5%.
Meanwhile, the support rate for the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan fell 0.6 point to 3.9%.
Support stood at 2.0% for Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Innovation Party), 1.3% for the Japanese Communist Party, 0.3% for the Democratic Party for the People, and 0.2% each for the Social Democratic Party and Reiwa Shinsengumi.
The share of respondents who supported no particular political party came to 61.4%.
The interview-based survey covered 2,000 people age 18 or over across Japan. Valid responses were received from 64.0%.
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