The approval rate for Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's Cabinet dropped to 17.1% in December, marking the first number below 20% since the Liberal Democratic Party returned to power in December 2012, a Jiji Press survey showed Thursday.

The support rate fell 4.2 percentage points from last month, rewriting a low since the LDP's return to power for a third month in a row. Meanwhile, the disapproval rate rose 4.9 points to 58.2%, the highest figure since the party retook the reins of the government.

The last time an approval rate for an LDP-led Cabinet stood below 20% was in September 2009, when the administration of Prime Minister Taro Aso logged 13.4%. That was just before the now-defunct Democratic Party of Japan seized control of the government from the Aso administration in a general election.