In the opinion poll jointly conducted by the Sankei Shimbun and Fuji News Network (FNN) [on Sept. 17–18], the support rate for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his cabinet increased for the third consecutive month to reach 56.6%, up 1.2 percentage points from the previous poll (conducted Aug. 6–7). The latest public opinion polls conducted by other media outlets also show similar increases in the cabinet support rate.
In the Asahi Shimbun poll (conducted Sept. 10–11), the cabinet support rate increased by 4 percentage points to 52%. The Kyodo News survey (Sept. 17–18) found the support rate at 55.7%, a rise of 2.8 points from the previous poll. The Yomiuri poll (Sept. 9–11) showed the support rate increasing by 8 points to 62%.
In the poll conducted by the Mainichi Shimbun on Sept. 3–4, however, the support rate was below 50%, dropping by 1 percentage point from the previous poll to 46%.
It is thought that the general rise in the approval rating reflects a certain level of approval among the public of Abe’s tough [diplomatic] stance. In response to North Korea’s conduct of a fifth nuclear test on Sept. 9, Prime Minister Abe confirmed Japan’s cooperation with the United States and South Korea and ordered that Japan’s unilateral sanctions against the North be strengthened.