The Yomiuri ShimbunThe approval rating for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet rose to 50 percent, according to a Yomiuri Shimbun survey conducted from Friday to Sunday, an increase of eight percentage points from 42 percent in the previous survey.
The disapproval rating declined to 39 percent from 48 percent in the prior survey, conducted on Aug. 3-4. It is the first time in three months that the Cabinet’s approval rating has exceeded the disapproval rating.
However, the latest approval rating remains almost the same as the 49 percent positive rating from a survey in June, when it declined 12 percentage points from the previous month.
Asked which measure to stop North Korea’s nuclear tests and missile launches — pressure or dialogue — the international community should focus on, 51 percent of respondents opted for “pressure,” surpassing the 38 percent who chose “dialogue.”
Regarding Abe’s diplomacy in recent meetings with heads of states to deal with North Korean issues, 50 percent of those polled evaluated it favorably, while 37 percent did not.
When it comes to the government’s plan to introduce Aegis Ashore, a ground-based version of the Aegis missile defense system, 64 percent of those surveyed supported the plan and 22 percent opposed it.
Acting in his capacity as president of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, Abe presented a proposal in May to add a provision defining the legal grounds for the Self-Defense Forces to the Constitution while maintaining Article 9, which renounces war.
Fifty-one percent of respondents favored this proposal, while 37 percent did not. In a survey carried out in May, 53 percent supported the proposal and 35 percent did not.
As for when the LDP should submit a constitutional amendment bill to the Diet, 27 percent said the party should submit it to an ordinary Diet session to be convened next year or later, while 26 percent said it should be submitted to an extraordinary Diet session to be convened this autumn. Thirty-seven percent said there is no need to submit the bill.
Concerning the economic policy of the Cabinet, 41 percent of respondents regarded it highly, while 43 percent did not.
As for the dissolution of the House of Representatives for a snap election, 66 percent said there is no need to rush, up five percentage points from the previous survey in August.
Thirty-three percent of respondents expressed high hopes for Seiji Maehara, the new leader of the main opposition Democratic Party. The figure is significantly lower than the 60 percent who gave the opposite answer.
Regarding Nippon First no Kai (Japan first group), a political organization established by lower house member Masaru Wakasa, a close ally of Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike, 41 percent said they have expectations for the organization, while 46 percent said they did not.
By political party, the LDP had the highest approval rating at 40 percent, up from 36 percent in the August survey.
The party saw its approval rating recover to the 40 percent range for the first time in three months.
The DP’s approval rating stood at 5 percent, compared to 6 percent in the August survey. The percentage of respondents with no political party affiliation was 45 percent, unchanged from the August survey.
The survey was conducted by polling 919 households with landline phones and 1,171 mobile phone users — all eligible voters aged 18 or older — sampled with a random digit dialing method. Of them, 1,097 people — 554 on landlines and 543 people on mobile phones — gave valid answers.Speech