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Japan opinion poll shows approval of Suga Cabinet almost flat at 33%

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The public approval rate for Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s Cabinet inched up 0.9 percentage point in June from the previous month to 33.1%, a Jiji Press opinion survey showed Friday.

The disapproval rate fell 0.4 point to 44.2%, according to the survey, which was conducted for four days through Monday. Disapproval exceeded approval for the sixth successive month.

The Suga government’s response to the COVID-19 crisis was rated negatively by 55.1% of all respondents, down 9.5 points, and rated positively by 23.2%, up 5.6 points. The proportion of people who answered neither or said they did not know came to 21.7%.

The proportion of respondents who said COVID-19 vaccinations, branded by Suga as the trump card in the fight against the virus, have been slow came to 69.4%, far higher than the 20.0% who said they believed inoculations were steadily under way, while 10.5% gave neither answer or said they did not know.

Among those who approved of the Suga Cabinet, with multiple answers allowed, 13.7% said there was no other person suitable to be prime minister, 8.3% said they trusted Suga and 5.9% said they had a good impression of him.

Of those who expressed disapproval of the Cabinet, 23.6% said they had no expectations of Suga, 22.7% said he lacked leadership skills and 16.9% said they could not trust the prime minister.

Suga’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party was supported by 22.8% of all respondents.

The support rate stood at 3.7% for Komeito, the LDP’s coalition partner, 2.9% for the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, 1.7% for the Japanese Communist Party, 1.2% for Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Innovation Party) and 0.5% for the Democratic Party for the People.

The Social Democratic Party and Reiwa Shinsengumi were each supported by 0.2%, and Furui Seito kara Kokumin wo Mamoru To (the party that protects people from old parties) by 0.1%.

The proportion of respondents in support of no particular party came to 63.2%.

Regarding the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games slated to be held this summer, 40.7% of respondents, the largest group, said they wanted it to be canceled.

The share of respondents who said the Tokyo Games should be held as scheduled came to 30.4%, while 22.2% said the games — already postponed by one year from last summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic — should be put off again.

The results showed persistent concerns among the Japanese public over holding the games as it remains to be seen when the pandemic will be brought under control. The outcome of the poll was also similar to that seen in an April survey, also by Jiji Press, in which 39.7% called for the cancellation of the Olympics and Paralympics, 28.9% said the Tokyo Summer Games should go ahead this year and 25.7% sought a further postponement of the events.

Asked in the latest survey about the issue of spectators if the Tokyo Games does take place as scheduled, 63.9% said the events should be held behind closed doors while 27.1% said they wanted a limited number of fans allowed into venues. Only 4.1% said there was no need to set a cap on the number of spectators.

The interview-based survey polled 2,000 people age 18 or over across Japan, with valid responses received from 64.1%.

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