Japan’s ranks of short-lived prime ministers can all attest to one thing: Political fortunes in Tokyo can change rapidly. The incumbent Fumio Kishida is now the one feeling the heat.

Just two months ago, after a dominant performance in Upper House elections, the talk in Tokyo was of a "golden three years” during which Kishida could rule without having to face the electorate at the ballot box again. But after a year of ratings inflated largely by his bold stance on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, reality is finally catching up. Japan’s Mr. Play-It-Safe is suddenly living dangerously.

His poll numbers are tanking at every major outlet. In a JNN survey published Sunday, 48.3% said they disapproved of Kishida’s Cabinet, slightly more than those who said they backed it. His approval figures are the worst since he took office.