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OPINION POLLS

Approval rating for Abe cabinet drops 10 points to 56%, Yomiuri poll

  • March 20, 2017
  • , Yomiuri , p. 1
  • JMH Translation

According to the Yomiuri Shimbun nationwide public opinion poll conducted on March 18–19, the approval rating for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s cabinet is 56%, down 10 percentage points from the 66% found in the previous poll (conducted Feb. 17–19). The disapproval rating rose to 33% from 24% in the previous poll. Among independents, the approval rate dropped to 33% (45%).

 

The drop in the overall approval rating (10 points) was the largest since the second Abe administration was launched in December 2012. This is the first time the cabinet approval rating has been in the 50% range since the 59% in the Dec. 2–4, 2016, poll and the lowest since September 2016.

 

Pollees were asked for their views on the government’s explanation regarding the sale of state-owned land to Osaka-based Moritomo Gakuen school corporation at a price that was over 800 million yen lower than the land’s appraised value. Some 85% said that they are “not convinced” by the government’s explanation that the huge discount stemmed from deducting waste-removal costs. Some 81% of Liberal Democratic Party supporters also said they are unconvinced. Meanwhile, 64% of all pollees said that they were not convinced by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s explanation that neither he nor his wife, Akie, was involved.

 

Defense Minister Tomomi Inada revised and apologized for a statement she made at the Diet in which she denied having ties with Moritomo Gakuen. A full 81% of pollees said her series of statements were either “very” or “somewhat” problematic.

 

Approval for the Liberal Democratic Party was at 40%, followed by the main opposition Democratic Party at 7% and Japanese Communist Party at 3%.

 

[Polling methodology: The nationwide survey was conducted March 18–19 on a computer-aided random digit dialing (RDD) basis and targeted voters age 18 or over with calls placed to landline and mobile phone numbers. Valid responses were received from a total of 1,092 persons, including 531 persons (out of the 912 households with one or more eligible voters) for landline numbers and 561 persons (out of the 1,252 persons who answered) for mobile numbers. The valid response rates were 58% for landline numbers and 45% for mobile numbers.]

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