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Kishida’s popularity declines amid coronavirus resurgence, skyrocketing inflation

According to the results of the latest public opinion poll conducted by Kyodo, support for the Kishida administration plunged by 12.2 points from 3 weeks ago to 51%, a record low since its launch last October. Nonsupport rose 7.1 points to 29.5%. Approval of the administration’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic plummeted by 7.7 points to 53.3%. Almost 64% disapproved of its response to rising inflation, while 28% felt otherwise. About 53% voiced opposition to the administration’s decision to hold a state funeral for former Prime Minister Abe, whereas 45% were in favor of it. Three out of five called for parliamentary discussions on the pros and cons of the state-sponsored ceremony. The pollster speculated that the coronavirus situation, rising inflation, and the administration’s controversial decision on the state funeral were the primary factors behind the plunge in public support.

 

Nikkei also reported on the results of its monthly opinion survey that put support for the Kishida cabinet at 58%, down 2 points to mark the second lowest level since its inauguration nine months ago. Nonsupport remained the same at 32%. Noting that 56% approved of the administration’s response to the pandemic, down 7 points from a month ago, the daily attributed the declining popularity rate to public anxiety about the exponential rise in the epidemic curve. Some 35% chose the coronavirus as a policy priority that the administration should concentrate on, up 19 points. Pointing out that many people have run into difficulties receiving medical attention amid the considerable strain being imposed on hospitals due to the spike in infections, the daily said Kishida’s popularity among the public may further decline if the situation remains unrectified. The public was divided over whether people’s activities should be restricted to curb the spread of the virus, with 49% being in favor of and 45% against the idea. Younger voters in particular tended to oppose such regulations. Opposition to the plan to hold a state funeral for Abe exceeded support at 47% to 43%.

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