Japanese PM faces stagnant approval ratings despite cabinet reshuffle
The approval ratings for Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's new cabinet showed no significant signs of improvement following its reshuffle this week, according to opinion polls conducted by multiple Japanese media outlets.
National news agency Kyodo found in its latest poll that the reshuffle had a limited impact on lifting popularity, although the cabinet's approval rating slightly edged up 6.2 percentage points from late August to 39.8 percent.
Some 43.9 percent of respondents said they viewed Kishida's picks for cabinet ministers and Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) leadership negatively, against 37.6 percent who felt otherwise, according to the two-day telephone survey conducted from Wednesday.
According to a survey conducted by Japan's Yomiuri Shimbun on Friday, the post-reshuffle approval rating for Kishida's cabinet remained unchanged from the August poll at 35 percent.
This marked the lowest level of support since Kishida took office in October 2021, maintaining a trend of declining approval ratings for three consecutive months.
The disapproval rate remains unchanged at 50 percent, it showed.
Polls by Japanese media outlets Nikkei and Tokyo Television revealed that Kishida's reshuffled cabinet saw its disapproval rating increase by 1 percentage point to 51 percent, while the support rate stood on par with the August survey at 42 percent.
This was the fourth consecutive month when the cabinet's disapproval ratings surpassed approval ratings.
Some 49 percent of respondents expressed their non-acceptance of the new cabinet members and the leadership of the ruling LDP, far exceeding the 28-percent approval rate.
Wednesday's cabinet reshuffle came as support rates for Kishida's cabinet have continued to slide and in August almost hit the lowest level since he took office, amid raging public frustration over the "My Number" national identification card system and soaring prices in the absence of salary hikes.
The second cabinet reshuffle by Kishida since last year included changes to 13 out of 19 ministers, with 11 of them entering the cabinet for the first time. Notably, the number of female cabinet members jumped to a record five from two, with former Justice Minister Yoko Kamikawa, a veteran female lawmaker, named foreign minister.
(Cover: File photo of Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. /Xinhua)