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Prime Minister’s Cabinet draws weakening ratings

Date Posted: 2010-04-09

The approval rate for Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama and his Cabinet have never been really strong, but now they’re plummeting to new lows, with the latest ratings showing only one-third of Japanese agreeing with how he and his cabinet are running the country.

The latest poll by Kyodo News showed another 3.3% drop in March, a new approval ratings low for the Cabinet, while those actively disapproving of the government jumped by 4.4 points. For the first time, disapproval of Hatoyama and his Cabinet surpassed 50%, increasing to 53%. A total of 1,470 responses were tallied in the latest poll.

Hatoyama’s personal rating took a bit of a beating, with 47.1% of those surveyed saying the Prime Minister should step down if he doesn’t resolve the Futenma Marine Corps Air Station by May, as promised. Fewer Japanese, 45.3%, say there’s no need for Hatoyama to resign.

Looking ahead to the Upper House elections scheduled for July, voter disenchantment with both Hatoyama’s Democratic Party of Japan and the opposition Liberal Democratic Party is reflected in the latest polls. A total of 21.2% of those surveyed say they’ll support the LDP candidates, a drop of 5.1% from a month earlier, while support for the DJP dropped .6% to 26.3%.

On the personal level, the latest polls are even more bleak for Hatoyama. The Prime Minister fell from second to 5th in a list of candidates voters thought were best suited to be the Prime Minister. Yoichi Matsuzoe of the Liberal Democratic Party, a former Health, Labor and Welfare Minister drew top marks from those surveyed with 22.4%, followed by Deputy Prime Minister Naoto Kan at 8.9% and Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada with 7.8%. Hatoyama drew only 7.1% of the poll numbers.

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