ASIA NEWS NETWORK
WE KNOW ASIA BETTER
Abe Cabinet ratings continue to soar, reaches 71%
Publication Date : 13-02-2013
The approval rating for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Cabinet has risen to 71 per cent, according to a Yomiuri Shimbun survey, rising for the second consecutive month since its launch in December and indicating wide public support for "Abenomics".
It is the first consecutive rise in a Cabinet approval rating since that of former Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa in 1993. Also, the Cabinet approval rating exceeded 70 per cent for the first time since former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama's Cabinet hit 71 per cent in a survey conducted in October 2009, the month following its inauguration.
The disapproval rating for the Abe Cabinet was 18 per cent, down six percentage points from the previous survey taken January 11-13, according to the latest survey conducted on Friday through Sunday.
The telephone survey targeted 1,815 households with at least one eligible voter. Valid answers were given by 1,072 voters, or 59 per cent.
The increase in the Cabinet approval rating was apparently due to a high evaluation of the economic policies of the Abe administration, which strengthened cooperation with the Bank of Japan and set its focus on economic growth. Concerning a joint statement between the government and the central bank that set a 2 per cent inflation target, 58 per cent of respondents expressed support.
The government increased spending on public works projects in the fiscal 2013 budget for the first time in four years, a policy supported by 56 per cent, while 33 per cent opposed it.
Meanwhile, 81 per cent support an increase in the budget for reconstruction projects from the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake.
Support for N-policy review
Regarding Abe's remarks on reviewing the previous DPJ-led administration's policy of phasing out nuclear power, aiming to shut down all nuclear reactors in the nation by the 2030s, 51 per cent said they approve of the review, while 35 per cent said they do not.
Fifty-one per cent said they believe the government dealt with the Algeria hostage crisis appropriately, while 32 per cent said they do not think so.
Asked which parties they support, 42 per cent said they support the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, up from 37 per cent in the previous survey. The main opposition Democratic Party of Japan was favoured by 6 per cent, the same as in the previous survey, and Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) was favoured by 5 per cent, down from 7 per cent.
In a question on which party they would vote for in the proportional representation section of the House of Councillors election this summer, in which respective party names were read out for respondents, 42 per cent chose the LDP, up from 37 per cent in the previous survey; followed by Nippon Ishin no Kai at 13 per cent, down from 16 per cent; and the DPJ at 7 per cent, down from 8 per cent.
The approval rating for the Abe Cabinet has been rising since its launch in December, showing a difference from recent Cabinets, many of which saw their approval ratings decline after their inaugurations.
That is apparently because many respondents supported "Abenomics", which aims to pull the nation out of prolonged deflation and also because there have been no notable setbacks in Abe's handling of the government so far.
The latest Yomiuri survey found the approval rating for the Abe Cabinet increased from the figure in previous surveys. In contrast, the Cabinets of the four most recent prime ministers--Yoshihiko Noda, Naoto Kan, Yukio Hatoyama and Taro Aso--got lower approval ratings in surveys two months after their inaugurations than they had just after they took office.