Japan’s Nikkei business daily released the results of its latest survey on the public’s approval of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Cabinet on Monday. Highlighting a drop of 8 percentage points from the same survey in April, the current approval rating now stands at 68%. The Nikkei said it contacted 1,447 households across the nation over the weekend, receiving 921 responses.
The disapproval rating for Abe’s Cabinet increased 3 points from last month to 19%. In addition, 62% of those surveyed said they were in favor of the government’s current economic policies, with 57% saying they were in favor of the latest foreign policies. Unfortunately for Abe, in questions about the public’s feelings for his “Abenomics” policy, or stimulus spending with aggressive monetary easing in order to combat deflation, only 22% feel that there is any improvement to the economy, with 66% saying there is none.
As for the recent regional tensions with North Korea, including their nuclear arms development and the ongoing issue of Pyongyang’s abductions of Japanese nationals, 46% of the public is expecting to see progress, while 37% don’t have high hopes. And as for the idea of Japan returning to the use of its nuclear power plants, 52% said they are opposed, while 30% say they are in support. This something that is no doubt to become an important issue in the near future, as a number of government officials, notably in Abe’s camp, are repeatedly calling for a quick return to operation of the country’s reactors.