Japan's new Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (front center) poses with members of his cabinet at the prime minister's official residence in Tokyo on Oct 4, 2021. (YOSHIKAZU TSUNO / POOL / AFP)
TOKYO – The latest survey showed the approval rating for Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's new Cabinet stood at 55.7 percent ahead of the general election at the end of this month, local media reported on Tuesday.
The survey was conducted by Kyodo News nationwide through phone calls and collected answers from 1,087 respondents after Kishida, leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, was elected prime minister by both chambers of parliament on Monday.
Kishida Cabinet's approval rating was lower than that of former prime minister Yoshihide Suga's Cabinet, 66.4 percent, upon its formation in September last year
Kishida Cabinet's approval rating was lower than that of former prime minister Yoshihide Suga's Cabinet, 66.4 percent, upon its formation in September last year. The most popular reason for supporting the Kishida Cabinet at 37.3 percent was "there is no other good candidate."
In addition, the disapproval rating for Kishida's Cabinet was 23.7 percent, also higher than Suga's 16.2 percent at the start.
In the survey, COVID-19 and the economy topped the list of issues that Kishida should tackle, with each being chosen by 27.9 percent of respondents.
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Regarding Kishida's economic policies and his "new form of capitalism" aiming to increase middle-class incomes and reduce wealth disparity, 46.6 percent said they were hopeful, while 46.9 percent said they were not.
The new prime minister told reporters that he felt "a sense of tension like the one just after a baseball match announcement" as he got to work at the prime minister's office on Tuesday morning, adding, "I would like to speedily respond to various challenges."
Kishida has announced that he will dissolve the House of Representatives on Oct 14 and go to the polls on Oct 31. He is set to deliver a policy speech and answer questions from party leaders in the coming days.
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