After nine months of robust polling, the Cabinet of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has seen its first real approval rating slippage, dropping 12.2 percentage points over the course of three weeks as the nation faces various social, political and economic issues.

A nationwide Kyodo News poll conducted by phone from July 30 to 31 pegged the Cabinet's approval rating at 51% — its lowest level to date — down from a high of 63.2% in the days following a convincing victory for the Liberal Democratic Party-Komeito coalition in the Upper House election on July 10.

The election took place just two days after the shocking killing of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and preceded a massive spike in COVID-19 infections that has since catapulted Japan — which previously enjoyed comparatively low rates of infection — to the No. 1 spot globally for daily new cases.