Approval for Japanese gov't slips to 32%: poll

11:32, March 16, 2010      

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A telephone poll conducted by the Asahi Shimbun on Saturday and Sunday showed support for the government led by the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) and Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama has slipped to 32 percent, the newspaper said Tuesday.

A poll conducted on Feb. 20 and 21 had showed approval for the cabinet stood at 37 percent.

The disapproval rating for the cabinet, meanwhile, stood at 47 percent, one percentage point up from the February poll.

The support rate for the government when it first came to office had stood at 71 percent, but has steadily declined since then.

The poll also showed that 56 percent of the public are concerned with the so-called "politics and money" scandals that have dogged the party, in which senior politicians have been connected to the falsification of funding declarations and donations from industry.

With an upper house election scheduled to take place in the summer, 30 percent of respondents to the poll said they would vote for the DPJ, while 21 percent said they would vote for the opposition Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), 32 percent, however, said they were still undecided.

On the issue of DPJ Secretary-General Ichiro Ozawa, 74 percent said they believed he should resign, while 60 percent of DPJ supporters were of the same opinion.

The LDP also suffered badly in the poll, with 79 percent of respondents saying that the party was not doing a satisfactory job as an opposition force.

Recent scandals in Japan connecting politicians to funds from illegitimate sources have piled pressure upon the DPJ to try to clean up politics, and led to wide disapproval among the Japanese public.

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