(Nikkei: February 29, 2016 – p. 1)
In a Nikkei Inc./TV Tokyo public opinion poll conducted on Feb. 26–28, 50% of respondents said they “disapprove” of “Abenomics,” exceeding the 31% saying they approve of the Abe administration’s economic policy. This same question has been posed to pollees since February 2015, but this is the first time for dissatisfaction with Abenomics to reach the 50% mark. Those taking a positive view of Abenomics also reached an all-time low. The cabinet’s approval rating held steady from the previous poll conducted in January at 47%, while disapproval rose 5 percentage points from January to 39%.
Skepticism toward the Abe administration’s handling of the economy, which has been credited with sustaining Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s high approval rating, appears to be spreading due to the yen’s recent appreciation and falling stock prices.
Among cabinet supporters, fans of Abenomics outnumbered critics by 55% to 23%. But just 8% of those who disliked Abe’s government had a positive view of its economic policy, while 85% did not.
A full 47% of all respondents said additional fiscal spending is “necessary” to bolster the economy, surpassing the 35% who thought it was “unnecessary.” Opposition to a planned April 2017 consumption tax hike outweighed support for it 58% to 33%. On the Bank of Japan’s new negative interest rate policy, 23% approved while 53% did not.
When asked why they support the cabinet (multiple responses permitted), 35% of cabinet supporters cited its “sense of stability,” making this the most common reason. Of those on the opposing side, 45% said they did not support Abe’s government “because it is led by the Liberal Democratic Party.”
Support for Abe’s LDP dropped 2 percentage points to 37%. The Democratic Party of Japan’s support held steady at 8%. The proportion of respondents not backing any party edged down 1 point to 39%.
The telephone poll was conducted by Nikkei Research Inc. of men and women, aged 20 and over, nationwide on a random digit dialing (RDD) basis. Of the 1,398 households with eligible voters contacted, 1,016 responded, for a response rate of 72.7%.