Kishida's approval rating above water for first time in 7 months

    WORLD  28 March 2023 - 01:31

    Support for Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's cabinet rose 5 percentage points from February to 48% in the latest Nikkei/TV Tokyo survey, topping its disapproval rating for the first time in seven months.

    Kishida's visit to Ukraine and his summit with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol here helped boost the approval rating above the 44% of respondents who disapproved of the cabinet, AsiaNikkei.com reports.

    The Ukraine trip was backed by 71% of respondents, with 20% saying they did not support the move. Although Kishida was the last of the Group of Seven leaders to visit the country, he underscored the stance of protecting the international order as the host of the G-7 summit in Hiroshima this May.

    The Yoon summit was supported by 63% of respondents, compared with the 21% saying they did not support it. Russia's invasion of Ukraine and concerns surrounding a potential Taiwan contingency triggered by China have stoked public sentiment toward improving Japan-South Korea relations.

    Older respondents showed higher support for the summit. Support among 18- to 39-year-olds came to 56%, rising to 63% for 40- to 59-year-olds and 68% for respondents in their 60s and older.

    Fifty-six percent of respondents said they did not expect Japan-South Korea relations to change, while 35% expected an improvement.

    Seoul has proposed using a government-backed foundation to compensate Koreans forced to work for Japanese companies during World War II. Private-sector donations would be tapped for the payments to former workers who won litigation against Japanese companies.

    The plan will not bring a resolution to the wartime labor issue, according to 68% of respondents, compared with the 21% expecting the issue to be resolved as a result.

    Among those in support of the Ukraine trip and the Yoon summit, the cabinet's approval rating came to 58% in both cases.

    On reasons for supporting the Kishida cabinet, its Liberal Democratic Party-centered makeup was cited by 32%, followed by trustworthiness at 25%. Its international perspective came in third at 20%, up 10 points from the previous poll.

    Bad policies were cited as the top reason for not supporting the cabinet at 38%, followed by lack of leadership at 35%.

    The LDP received 43% support, followed by 8% apiece for the Constitutional Democratic Party and the Japan Innovation Party. No party preference was expressed by 24% of respondents.

    The telephone poll conducted by Nikkei Research from Friday through Sunday received 927 responses, for a response rate of 39.7%.

    Caliber.Az

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