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Cabinet support rate plunges to mere 25%

Date Posted: 2010-04-22

Support for Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama’s Cabinet crashed to 25% this week, while the figure for those opposed to the leader’s key policies rose above 50% for the first time.

The Cabinet support rate fell seven percentage points in a single month, and is now 46 points below the rate when Hatoyama took office last September. Even worse news for the Prime Minister is that 61% of those surveyed by The Asahi Shimbun now say they don’t support him, an increase of 14 points since February.

The Democratic Party of Japan, the ruling party, didn’t fare any better, losing four more percentage points. Support for the DPJ now stands at 23%, well below the 40% recorded as late as the December holiday season. Only 24% of those polled said they’d vote for the DPJ or its candidates in the Upper House if the election were held today.

The Liberal Democratic Party, ousted from power last August by Hatoyama’s DPJ, wasn’t able to capitalize on the ruling party’s woes, though. LDP support has dropped to 14%, to the lowest level since the party was formed in 1955. More than 3,400 people were surveyed, with 2,083 poll ballots counted by the newspaper.

A growing trend is for voters to be unaffiliated with any political party. Only 9% of those surveyed say they support the Hatoyama administration, while 71% said they disapprove of his government. The reason for dissatisfaction with the Hatoyama government was described as the administration’s inability to deliver on promises. More than 80% of those asked to rank Hatoyama’s performance to date gave him negative marks.

More than half of those polled said Hatoyama should resign from office if he fails to deliver, as promised, on a solution to the Futenma problem by the end of May. A total of 51% said he should step down if he doesn’t get the airfield issue resolved, while 40% said he shouldn’t have to give up his office.

Nearly 40% of those surveyed refused to say if they’d vote for the DPJ or LDP in the coming Upper House election. Only 24% said they’d go with the DPJ candidates, and only 20% said they’d back the LDP candidates. Some 52% said they’d like to see a large, new party emerge to take over Japan’s government.


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