November 27, 2023
TOKYO – Prime Minister Fumio Kishida was ranked sixth in favorability scoring among the past nine prime ministers in a national survey conducted by the SmartNews Media Research Institute and others.
The survey also suggests that Kishida’s favorability rating is especially low among social media users.
Respondents were asked to rate each of the past nine prime ministers from Junichiro Koizumi by giving them a score out of 10. According to the results, Koizumi was ranked first with an average score of 6.6, followed by Yoshihide Suga and Shinzo Abe, each with 5.4. Kishida was rated 4.2 on average.
Yukio Maeda, professor of political communication at the University of Tokyo, analyzed relations between social media platforms frequently used by the respondents and the favorability scores. While the average score for Kishida was at a relatively high 4.5 among respondents mainly using traditional mass media, such as newspapers and television, it was lower among those who mainly use social media, averaging at 3.6. The opposite applied to Abe and Suga.
By age group, Kishida was favored by older respondents. The percentage of people using social media is higher among younger people, but the analysis by Maeda found that the favorability scores for Kishida tend to be low among social media user respondents regardless of their age group. “The information about Kishida available on social media platforms is more negative than that of Abe and others, which could have affected the results,” Maeda said.
Lately, there are a lot of social media posts making fun of Kishida with a tax-hike image. According to an opinion poll conducted by The Yomiuri Shimbun from Nov. 17 to 19, the approval rating for Kishida’s Cabinet plunged to its lowest level at 24% since the launch of the Cabinet.