TOKYO, Jan. 12 – The approval rating for Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s Cabinet was 44 percent in The Japan Agricultural News’ monitor survey conducted in the end of last year, dropping 18 percentage points from the previous survey done in September immediately after Suga became prime minister.
The disapproval rate rose 20 percentage points to 56 percent, making disapproval top approval for the first time.
Only 26 percent gave high marks to the Suga Cabinet’s agricultural policies and 27 percent to the government’s COVID-19 response, resulting in a plunge in the overall support rate.
Among those who support the Cabinet, 32 percent, the largest percentage and up 9 percentage points from the previous survey, gave “trust toward Suga” as the reason, followed by 28 percent who said there is no other suitable person, up 13 percentage points, and 26 percent who said it is the administration led by the Liberal Democratic Party, up 15 percentage points.
The results indicate more people are choosing to support Suga by process of elimination rather than actively.
Among those who don’t support the Cabinet, 34 percent, the largest percentage, gave as the reason Suga’s lack of leadership, up 27 percentage points from the previous survey, followed by 24 percent who said they don’t trust Suga, up 6 points, and 18 percent who said they don’t approve of his policies, up 7 points.
In terms of support for political parties, 71 percent of LDP supporters back Suga’s Cabinet, but the rate was down 18 percentage points from the previous survey.
Among those who don’t support any political party, occupying around 30 percent of the total respondents, 79 percent disapprove the Cabinet, up 23 percentage points.
The Japan Agricultural News sent the survey in mid-December to late December to 1,133 monitors, mainly farmers, and received responses from 756 people.
Asked whether the Suga Cabinet’s agricultural policies should be given high marks, 2 percent strongly agreed, while 24 percent more or less agreed. The largest percentage, 30 percent, more or less disagreed, and 15 percent strongly disagreed.
Twenty-nine percent answered they don’t know, probably because they believe it is too early to evaluate the policies only three months after the launch of the Cabinet.
Asked whether the Suga Cabinet’s COVID-19 response should be highly evaluated, 27 percent agreed, down 23 percentage points, while 70 percent disagreed, up 24 points, amid a resurgence in infections in the end of last year.