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Six months into his term and three months before the Upper House election, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is seeing good polling numbers, with polls by JNN and Yomiuri over the weekend showing his Cabinet enjoyed a 59% approval rating. By contrast, his predecessor Yoshihide Suga had a 44% and 48% approval rate in the same two polls after his first six months.

Despite increasing cases of COVID-19 and rising food and gas prices due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine — which could dent his popularity in the weeks to come — the poll numbers mean that his rivals within the Liberal Democratic Party are on the defensive for the time being. Especially former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

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