The Cabinet's public approval rating dropped to 40.2%, a new low since its launch last year, the latest Kyodo News survey showed Sunday, as the ruling Liberal Democratic Party struggles to defuse jitters over its controversial links to a religious group and a planned state funeral later in the month for former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The rating for the Cabinet of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is a sharp drop from over 63% shortly after the ruling party's sweeping victory in the Upper House election in July and 54.1% in the last survey in August.

Its latest disapproval rating in the weekend survey, a record 46.5%, exceeded the approval rating for the first time since Kishida took office in October.