Sunday’s Nikkei wrote that public approval of the Kishida administration has largely remained steady since it was launched six months ago, with at least 55% of respondents voicing support in monthly polls. The latest figure was 61%. The daily attributed Prime Minister Kishida’s strong public standing to the administration’s success in heading off another COVID-19 state of emergency and its stern response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine in coordination with the G7 and the international community. Pointing out that the administration’s performance will be evaluated by voters in the July Upper House election, the paper stressed that in order to ensure an LDP victory, it will be critical for the premier to preempt a seventh wave of COVID-19 and rein in soaring prices for food and energy imports, which could trigger strong consumer dissatisfaction.
In a related story, today’s Yomiuri front-paged the results of its latest public opinion survey that put support for the Kishida administration at 59%, up 2 points from a month ago, and nonsupport at 29%, also up 1 point. Some 55% (up 1 point) and 58% (up 4 points) approved of the Kishida administration’s responses to the coronavirus pandemic and the Russian aggression against Ukraine, respectively. On the policy front, while about 64% of respondents were in favor of bolstering the nation’s defense capabilities, they were equally split about the idea of allowing the SDF to acquire capabilities to strike enemy bases with 46% each. Almost seven out of ten said Japan should step up sanctions on Moscow if Western nations do.