Public support for Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has reached a new low, according to a poll released on Sunday, November 27. A string of cabinet resignations has exacerbated outrage over the ruling party’s ties to a controversial religious group.
In a Kyodo news poll conducted one month ago, support for Kishida’s cabinet dropped from 37.6% to 33.1%, his lowest rating since he entered office in October 2021. It discovered disapproval at 51.6%, surpassing 50% for the first time.
Since the death of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in July revealed long-standing ties between ruling Liberal Democratic Party politicians and the Unification Church, an organization deemed a cult by opponents, Kishida’s popularity has declined.
Since last month, scandals have prompted three cabinet members to resign, aggravating the government’s problems.
62.4 percent of respondents disapproved of how Kishida handled the resignations of Economic Revitalization Minister Daishiro Yamagiwa, Justice Minister Yasuo Hanashi, and Internal Affairs Minister Minoru Terada, according to a Kyodo survey.
A US$200 billion economic support package to soothe inflationary woes caused by the yen’s plummet to 32-year lows failed to improve Kishida’s satisfaction rating.
Regarding the government’s push to increase Japan’s defense capabilities, 60.8% of respondents to a Kyodo survey said they would support the country adopting counterattack capabilities – which are controversial under the pacifist constitution – to increase deterrence, while 35% opposed it.