Japan Cabinet approval rating rises to 46 per cent

The approval rating of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Cabinet rose to 46 per cent, according to a Yomiuri Shimbun survey conducted Wednesday and Thursday, up five percentage points from the previous survey held Sept. 19-20.

The latest survey was conducted after Wednesday's Cabinet reshuffle. The disapproval rating was 45 per cent, down from 51 per cent.

Conducted soon after the enactment of the security-related laws, the September survey saw the Cabinet approval rating dip below its disapproval rating. In the latest survey, approval exceeded disapproval by a thin margin.

Meanwhile, 59 per cent of respondents supported the broad agreement reached over the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade pact, and 28 per cent were opposed. Such a positive view of the TPP deal may have contributed to the boost in the Cabinet's approval rating.

Regarding the latest Cabinet reshuffle, 50 per cent of the respondents were positive about keeping key ministers in the same posts, while 34 per cent were not. As for Abe's vision to realise "a society with all 100 million-plus people dynamically engaged," 48 per cent did not think highly of the policy, while 31 per cent did.

The enactment of the security laws was supported by 36 per cent, up from 31 per cent in the previous survey, while a majority of 54 per cent, down from 58 per cent, did not support the enactment.

Eighty-two per cent said they thought the explanations by the government and ruling parties concerning the laws were insufficient, showing that the government has not adequately gained public understanding over the issue.

Regarding an envisaged reduced tax rate system for daily necessities at the time of the consumption tax rate hike to 10 per cent, 67 per cent of respondents, up from 63 per cent in the previous survey, supported the introduction of such a system, while 26 per cent, down from 29 per cent, did not.

The Liberal Democratic Party's support rate rose to 39 per cent, up from 33 per cent in the previous poll. This was followed by 10 per cent supporting the Democratic Party of Japan, down from 11 per cent; and 3 per cent supporting Komeito, unchanged from the previous survey.

The survey used random-digit dialing to contact 1,956 households with eligible voters. Of this number, 1,086 people, or 56 per cent, gave valid answers.