Japan’s Cabinet public approval rating has fallen to 40.2%, a new low since it was launched last year, the latest Kyodo News survey revealed on Sunday, as the ruling Liberal Democratic Party falters. tries to defuse the nervousness aroused by his controversial ties to a religious group and a planned state. funeral later in the month for former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s cabinet rating is down sharply, from more than 63% shortly after the ruling party’s landslide victory in the upper house elections in July and from 54.1% in the last poll in August.
His latest disapproval rating in the weekend survey, a record 46.5%, topped the approval rating for the first time since Kishida took office in October.
A majority of respondents to the latest poll, 60.8%, oppose Abe’s state funeral scheduled for September 27, while 38.5% indicated support.
The funeral, only the second given to a Japanese prime minister after post-war leader Shigeru Yoshida in 1967, has been a major factor in Kishida’s ratings plunge since mid-July.
While Kishida told a news conference on September 8 that the funeral was “appropriate” given Abe’s accomplishments as Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, 67.2% of respondents to the latest poll said that his reasoning for granting this honor had not convinced them.
Abe was shot and killed during an election campaign speech on July 8. The government estimates the cost of preparing the venue, security and hosting foreign guests at more than 1.6 billion yen ($11 million).
When asked if the cost was appropriate, 72.5% of respondents said the government spent too much on funerals.
Public distrust of the LDP has also been fueled by reports of links to the Unification Church that have come to the fore since Abe’s murder, which the attacker reportedly blames him for. for his alleged links to the group.
In an attempt to manage the fallout, the LDP launched an investigation into its lawmakers’ ties to the church group, which on September 8 found that 179 of its lawmakers, about half, had ties to the church.
Kishida said Aug. 31 that his party would demand its lawmakers cut ties with the church, now officially known as the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification.
However, some 80.1% of those polled also said the party’s response to church ties was insufficient, and 77.6% said they did not believe the LDP would be able to sever its ties. with her.
The church has drawn attention to problematic practices such as so-called spiritual sales, in which people are tricked into buying jars and other items at exorbitant prices. Abe’s attacker had told investigators that his mother’s large donations had financially ruined their family.
On other issues, 70.5% of respondents expressed disapproval of the government’s response to the price hike, compared to 24.2% who approved.
Consumer prices have exceeded the Bank of Japan’s 2% target since April, and central bank data showed on Tuesday that wholesale prices rose 9.0% in August from the last year.
The survey called 506 randomly selected households with eligible voters on landlines and 1,977 mobile phone numbers. It gave responses from 426 household individuals and 623 mobile phone users.