In the July 2017 public opinion poll conducted by Jiji Press on July 7–10, the Abe cabinet support rate dropped 15.2 percentage points from the previous month to reach 29.9%. This is the largest [month-on-month] drop in the support rate and the first time for the rate to fall below 30% since the launch of the second Abe cabinet in December 2012. The nonsupport rate was 48.6%, up 14.7 points. Driving this is the scandal surrounding Kake Educational Institution’s plan to set up a new veterinary school. It is also thought that the gaffe by Defense Minister Tomomi Inada that could be interpreted as using the Self-Defense Forces for political purposes is exerting an impact. Inada misspoke [at a campaign rally for an LDP candidate running] in the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly election.
Asked whether Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s statements regarding the Kake scandal can be trusted, 67.3% said “no,” vastly exceeding the 11.5% who said “yes.” Some 79.9% said that Prime Minister Abe “is not fulfilling his obligation to explain,” while 7.1% thought he is. This reveals the rise in the public’s distrust of Abe. It looks like the prime minister will have a tough time running the administration.
When asked why they do not support the cabinet (multiple responses permitted), the responses were as follows: “the prime minister is not trustworthy,” 27.5%, up 8.7 points from last month and up a total of 14.9 points from May; “nothing can be expected of the prime minister,” 21.9%; “the prime minister has bad policies,” 15.8%. When asked why they support the cabinet (multiple responses permitted), the responses were as follows: “there is no other appropriate person,” 14.1%; “the prime minister has leadership ability,” 9.0%; “the prime minister is trustworthy,” 6.8%.
This is the first time for the nonsupport rate to exceed the support rate since September 2015, when the security legislation was being debated. By political party supported, support among independents, who make up more than 60% of all pollees, fell to 19.4%, down 13.3 points compared with last month. Even among LDP supporters, the support rate plummeted to 70.1%, down 13.4 points.
The political party support rates were as follows: Liberal Democratic Party, 21.1%, down 3.9 percentage points from the previous month; Democratic Party, 3.8%, down 0.4 points; Komeito, 3.2%; Japanese Communist Party, 2.1%; Nippon Ishin (Japan Innovation Party), 1.1%. Those not supporting any political party rose to 65.3%, up 4.5 points.
The survey was conducted on July 7–10 through individual interviews. For the survey, a total of 2,000 people were sampled from among men and women, aged 18 and over, across the nation. The valid response rate was 65.1%.