The approval rating for Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s Cabinet has dropped to a worst-ever 51.0 percent from a record high of 63.2 percent just weeks ago, following his government’s decision to hold a state funeral for slain former leader Shinzo Abe, a survey showed Sunday.
The survey found 53.3 percent of respondents expressed opposition to the state funeral, while 61.9% said a parliamentary debate on holding the event is necessary.
The approval rating in the two-day nationwide telephone survey this weekend was the Kishida administration’s lowest since its October 2021 launch.
The plunge comes after Kishida’s Cabinet enjoyed its best-ever support in the wake of a successful House of Councillors election for the ruling coalition parties on July 10 and shock over Abe’s fatal shooting during a July 8 campaign stump speech.
But the government’s decision to hold a state funeral for the former prime minister has drawn criticism from the opposition and members of the public who say there are no legal provisions for holding such a funeral.
Politicians, including some from Kishida’s Liberal Democratic Party, have also been under scrutiny for connections with the Unification Church after it emerged the gunman targeted Abe over the former premier’s alleged links to the religious group.
The country has also seen new coronavirus cases surging to daily record highs recently, while rising commodity prices leave living costs high.
Amid the spike in COVID-19 cases, the survey showed 53.3 percent support the government’s coronavirus response, down 7.7 percentage points from the previous poll conducted on July 11 and 12. Some 28.1 percent said they approve of the government’s measures on rising prices, compared to 63.6 percent who do not.
SOURCE: NEWS AGENCIES