By Minako Yamashita, Nikkei staff writer
TOKYO — The government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe garnered 48% support in a Nikkei-TV Tokyo poll conducted Friday through Sunday, down 2 points from the previous survey in December. Disapproval, meanwhile, increased 4 points to 45%.
The Abe cabinet’s approval rating fell below 50% for the first time since March 2019. At that time, it came to light that the labor ministry doctored labor statistics every month. A series of scandals, such as the use of public funds for a political cherry blossom viewing party, has followed.
The poll also found 67% of respondents said there should be a review of plans to open casino resorts in Japan, likely due to a recent bribery scandal associated with the selection process.
The ruling Liberal Democratic Party saw its support rise 4 points to 45%, while support for the main opposition party, the Constitutional Democratic Party, increased by 2 points to 10%.
On dispatching the Maritime Self-Defense Force to the Middle East this month to ensure the safety of Japanese vessels, 58% said they approved while 35% did not.
Asked if the country’s parliament should discuss constitutional reform that would allow a greater role for Japan’s military, 73% of respondents said they should “debate the issue,” the same level as in the previous survey. Those saying there was no need rose 3 points to 22%.
On who should become the next prime minister, former LDP Secretary-General Shigeru Ishiba led the pack with 25% support, a 5-point increase from the previous survey. Abe, whose term ends in September next year, was second with 17%, followed by Shinjiro Koizumi, son of the famed Japanese leader in the 2000s, with 11%. Koizumi lost 6 points from the last survey.
The survey was conducted by Nikkei Research and received 992 responses for a response rate of 41.3%. (JMH created and added the line graph and chart.)