Japan cabinet's popularity rises among women, independents

Japan cabinet's popularity rises among women, independents

Support for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Cabinet significantly improved among women and people with no party affiliation in a recent survey, leading to a jump in the overall Cabinet approval rating.

However, the majority of people surveyed said they could not personally feel the economic recovery. It is uncertain if Abe's Cabinet can maintain its high approval rating.

According to the survey conducted Wednesday and Thursday, 66 per cent of men support the Cabinet, while 63 per cent of women support it. The approval rating among women rose 18 percentage points from a previous survey in August. Among people with no party affiliation, the approval rating stood at 38 per cent, up 10 percentage points from the August survey.

In a survey conducted in July, right after the Cabinet approved a new government interpretation of the Constitution to allow the limited exercise of the right of collective self-defence, the approval rating among women dropped sharply, down 13 percentage points from a survey in June to 42 per cent. Support among people with no party affiliation also fell by 17 percentage points to 19 per cent.

In the latest survey, 71 per cent of women said they approved of the increase in the number of female Cabinet members, while 59 per cent of people with no party affiliation expressed the same opinion. Active recruitment of women to Cabinet posts seems to have helped the approval rating recover.

The survey also highlighted some concerns. While 53 per cent of respondents supported the economic policies of the Abe Cabinet, only 20 per cent said they could personally feel the economic recovery. Seventy-six per cent said they could not feel the recovery.

Economic recovery stagnated due to a drop in consumption following the consumption tax hike to 8 per cent in April. Apparently for this reason, 72 per cent of respondents, up from 66 per cent in the previous survey, opposed the planned consumption tax hike from 8 per cent to 10 per cent.

"Economic recovery and employment" topped the list of issues respondents wanted the new Cabinet to tackle. For the Abe Cabinet to maintain its high approval rating, his economic policies will have to bring about some improvements that people can actually feel.Speech

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