As expected by pundits in Tokyo, the initial approval rating of Japan’s new administration was not as high as Prime Minister Fumio Kishida might have hoped for. “I am aware of the numbers,” Kishida said. “I understand that there is a wide range among opinion polls.”

The results of the surveys conducted by Japan’s news media vary. Kyodo News and the Nikkei, for example, reported approval ratings of 55.7% and 59%, while the liberal Asahi Shimbun and the Mainichi Shimbun had 45% and 49%, respectively. The disapproval ratings were 20%-27%, except for the Mainichi with a disapproval rating of 40%.

Low expectations