NHK: Support for Japan PM’s cabinet lowest since it was formed

NHK: Support for Japan PM's cabinet lowest since it was formed

Support for Fumio Kishida’s cabinet totalled 46 per cent, down from 59 per cent in the previous survey three weeks ago. — Reuters pic

Monday, 08 Aug 2022 9:45 PM MYT

TOKYO, Aug 8 — Public support for Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida slid to the lowest level since he took office last October, with voters questioning his decision to hold a state funeral for former premier Shinzo Abe, public broadcaster NHK said today.

Support for Kishida’s cabinet totalled 46 per cent, down from 59 per cent in the previous survey three weeks ago, while the disapproval rating rose to 28 per cent from 21 per cent over the same period, NHK said.

The results of the survey, conducted by phone and involving 1,223 respondents, came just two days ahead of a planned reshuffle of the cabinet and leadership of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).

Abe was gunned down last month at a campaign rally and the government decided to hold a state funeral in September. But the move to pay for the ceremony for Japan’s longest-serving premier, who was also a divisive figure, has faced criticism.

The NHK survey showed 50 per cent of those polled said they did not approve of the government’s decision, while 36 per cent said they did.

Kishida’s ministers and ruling party lawmakers face public scrutiny over their relationship with the Unification Church, a religious group to which the mother of the man who shot Abe belonged, and which is reported to have had particularly close links with the LDP faction Abe led.

In the NHK poll, 82 per cent of respondents said they did not believe political parties and lawmakers had sufficiently explained themselves about their ties with the Unification Church, known for its mass weddings and devoted following. — Reuters