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Kishida Cabinet’s approval rating falls to 46%, lowest since launch, NHK public opinion poll

NHK poll Cabinet support rate According to the August NHK public opinion poll, the approval rating for Prime Minister Kishida Fumio’s Cabinet dropped to 46%, down 13 percentage points from the previous survey conducted on July 16–18. The disapproval rating rose 7 points to reach 28%. The Kishida Cabinet’s support rate is at its lowest level since the Cabinet was launched in October last year.


NHK conducted a nationwide survey over the three-day period of Aug. 5–7, on a computer-aided random digit dialing (RDD) basis and targeted men and women aged 18 or over with calls placed to landline and mobile phone numbers. Valid responses were received from 1,223 of the 2,577 people polled. The valid response rate was 48%.


Asked why they support the cabinet, 43% said “because it is a better alternative to other possible cabinets,” 24% said “because the cabinet is led by the political party I support,” and another 15% said “because the prime minister is trustworthy.”


Asked why they disapprove of the cabinet, 35% said “because I am not hopeful about the cabinet’s policies,” 28% said “because the cabinet lacks the ability to get things done,” and 20% said “because the cabinet is not led by the political party I support.”


When asked for their views on the government’s handling of the novel coronavirus so far, 6% said they “rate it highly,” while 52% said they “have a somewhat positive view of it.” Meanwhile, 29% said they “do not rate it very highly,” and 8% said they “do not have a positive view of it at all.”


The government has decided that the quarantine period for close contacts of COVID-19 patients can be as short as three days if certain conditions are met. Some 57% of respondents said they approve of the government decision, while 29% said they disapprove.


Respondents were split over the classification of COVID-19, with 44% saying the current classification where strict measures can be taken should be maintained and 41% saying it should be downgraded to the level of the seasonal flu.


Regarding the state funeral planned on Sept. 27 for former Prime Minister Abe Shinzo, who was fatally shot last month, 36% said they approve, while 50% said they don’t.


The shooting suspect has reportedly said he believed that Abe was close to the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, a religious group formerly known as the Unification Church. He blames the group for bankrupting his family.


Since the incident, relations between the church and the political world have been under the spotlight. Asked whether political parties and lawmakers have given adequate explanations of their ties with the group, 4% said they think so. But 82% said the explanations are insufficient.

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