By HIROSHI KIMIJIMA/ Staff Writer
May 29, 2023 at 15:40 JST
The approval rating for the Kishida Cabinet exceeded the disapproval rating for the first time since August following the Group of Seven summit in Hiroshima, an Asahi Shimbun survey showed.
Forty-six percent of respondents to the nationwide telephone survey conducted on May 27-28 voiced approval for the Cabinet, compared with 42 percent who did not.
The approval rating rose from 38 percent in the previous survey conducted in April, while the disapproval rating fell from 45 percent.
Among male respondents, the approval rating was 51 percent, above the 39 percent disapproval rating.
However, the approval rating among female respondents was 40 percent, below the 46 percent disapproval rating.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida presided over the G-7 summit on May 19-21, the seventh summit of the industrialized democracies hosted by Japan.
Fifty-nine percent of respondents said Kishida displayed leadership as G-7 president, compared with 32 percent who said he did not.
It was the first time for a Cabinet approval rating to clearly increase after a G-7 summit held in Japan, although some past surveys were based on interviews, making it difficult to make a simple comparison.
Voters were almost evenly split on whether the G-7 leaders made progress toward the goal of “a world without nuclear weapons.”
A combined 49 percent of respondents said certain or substantial achievements were made toward that goal, while a combined 47 percent said few or no achievements were made in Hiroshima, the site of the first atomic bombing by the United States in the closing days of World War II.
Coordinated support for Ukraine in the war against Russia was a focus of the summit. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made a surprise visit to Japan and met with G-7 and other world leaders.
A combined 61 percent of respondents said certain or substantial achievements were made on the Ukraine issue in Hiroshima, well above the combined 37 percent who said few or no achievements were made.
On domestic politics, a combined 76 percent of respondents said it was problematic for Kishida’s son, Shotaro, who serves as his executive secretary in charge of political affairs, to hold a year-end party at the Prime Minister’s Official Residence with relatives.
Specifically, 44 percent said it was a big problem, and 32 percent said it was a problem to some extent.
By comparison, 19 percent of respondents said the party was not a serious problem, and 5 percent said it was not a problem at all.
Seventy-six percent of respondents said there is no need to hold a Lower House election at an early date, up from 67 percent in the April survey.
Eighteen percent said a Lower House election should be held as soon as possible, down from 22 percent in the previous survey.
Many lawmakers of Kishida’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party have urged him to dissolve the Lower House for a snap election since the G-7 summit ended.
Still, only 13 percent of the respondents who support the LDP said a Lower House election should be held as soon as possible.
The survey was conducted through calls to randomly selected telephone numbers. There were 417 valid responses from voters contacted by fixed telephones, or 48 percent, and 713 from those contacted by cellphones, or 41 percent.
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