External Affairs

In Japan, Many Don’t Want Abe as Prime Minister Even If He Won the Election

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is also leader of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), attends a news conference at LDP headquarters in Tokyo, Japan October 23, 2017. Credit: Reuters

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is also leader of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), attends a news conference at LDP headquarters in Tokyo, Japan October 23, 2017. Credit: Reuters

Tokyo: Japan‘s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe may have won a major election victory on Sunday, but half the people surveyed post-election by the Asahi newspaper don’t want him to stay prime minister.

It seems the election victory has boosted the approval rating for Abe’s administration, but not him.

Public support rate for Abe’s administration grew to 42% in the survey, conducted between October 23 and 24, up from 38% in its previous survey in mid-Oct.

But 47% of respondents don’t want Abe to continue as prime minister, exceeding 37% who want him to stay, said the survey published on Wednesday.

Abe’s disapproval rating slipped to 39% from 40% according to the Asahi’s survey.

Abe is due to remain prime minister until September 2018 when his tenure as Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) leader ends and a new vote for LDP leader is held.

Abe’s LDP-led coalition won a combined 313 seats in Sunday’s national election, keeping its two-thirds “super majority” in the 465-member lower house, local media said.

Several experts noted the ruling bloc’s win was less a victory for the long-ruling LDP than a defeat for a divided opposition.

The Asahi’s survey also showed 51% of respondents said the number of seats the ruling bloc’s won was “too many”, while 32% expressed the seat number was good.

And 54% of respondents said they were concerned about Abe’s policies, exceeding 29% who said they have positive expectations, the Asahi said.

A Yomiuri newspaper survey on Wednesday showed the approval rating for Abe’s administration was up at 52% from 41% in its previous survey early this month.

Asked reasons for the LDP’s winning majority on its own, only 6% said it was “high hopes for Abe”, 10% said “appreciation of ruling parties achievements” while 44% cited fragmentation of opposition, the Yomiuri said.

(Reuters)