July 25, 2023
TOKYO – The approval rating of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s Cabinet has dipped to 35%, marking the lowest point since its inauguration in October 2021, according to a recent Yomiuri Shimbun survey.
Ongoing government missteps related to My Number identification cards likely affected voters’ sentiment.
In the nationwide poll conducted over the weekend, the approval rating was down by six percentage points from the previous survey held from June 23 to 25.
The disapproval rating rose to 52% from 44% in the June survey, hitting the highest point since December 2022.
The approval rating fell 21 percentage points in two months, dropping from 56% in the May survey, and is now below the previous low of 36% set in November 2022.
Even among supporters of the ruling parties, the approval rating was 68%, down by eight percentage points from the previous survey.
Asked why they did not support the Cabinet, 43% — the largest proportion of respondents — said they could not be hopeful regarding its policies, marking the highest percentage since the Cabinet’s inauguration. In the previous survey, 39% gave this answer.
Regarding the My Number card issue, 80% said they did not think Kishida was showing leadership in dealing with the matter. This was far more than the 12% who thought he was.
The government plans to complete a comprehensive review of the system by this autumn, but 78% said they did not think that will solve the problem.
The government plans to abolish health insurance cards in principle in autumn 2024 and integrate their functions into the My Number card system. In the latest survey, 58% of respondents were against the plan, and 33% were in favor. This compares to 55% against and 37% in favor in the previous survey.
As to the government’s handling of high prices, 79% of respondents did not approve, up four percentage points from the April survey. The government’s measures to address the declining birthrate were disapproved of by 66%, while only 24% approved of them.
Asked which party they intend to vote for in the proportional representation segment of the next House of Representatives election, 34% of respondents said they would vote for the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, down from 38% in the previous survey.
Nippon Ishin (Japan Innovation Party) garnered 15%, up from 13%, and the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan was chosen by 8%, down from 9%.
Asked about the plan to discharge treated water into the ocean from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc., 57% supported the plan and 30% opposed it.
Regarding the world exposition to be held in Osaka in 2025, 35% said they were interested in it, while 65% said they were not.
As to support for political parties, LDP was supported by 33% of respondents in the latest survey, down from 34% in the previous poll. Ishin was backed by 9%, up from 6%. The CDPJ’s support remained at 4%. The percentage of voters with no party affiliation was 42%, up from 40%.
The survey was conducted from Friday to Sunday using 753 household landlines and 1,594 mobile phone numbers selected via a random digit dialing method. Of them, 1,052 people in total — 422 on landlines and 630 on mobile phones — gave valid answers.
All respondents were eligible voters aged 18 or older.