Support for Japanese cabinet hits dangerously low levels

09:37, May 17, 2010      

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The approval rating for Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama's cabinet has slumped 4 percentage points from a month earlier, the Asahi Shimbun newspaper reported on Monday.

According to the poll conducted by the newspaper, Hatoyama's cabinet has an approval rating of 21 percent and a disapproval rating of 64 percent, the latter of which marks a 3 point rise from the previous month.

The Asahi said that those supporting the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) remained unchanged from a month earlier at 24 percent, whereas support for the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party slipped 1 percent to 19 percent, the newspaper reported.

The Asahi, which has a national readership of some 21 million people, conducted the poll by telephone on May 15-16 and obtained 2,077 valid responses.

A separate survey in the Mainichi Shimbun newspaper said Hatoyama's cabinet support fell 10 percentage points to 23 percent and the Jiji News Agency reported recently that the approval rating for Hatoyama's cabinet fell to 19.1 percent in May marking the first time the approval rating has slipped below the 20 percent mark since the DPJ took power in September last year.

Political commentators and historians concur that rarely has a prime minister managed to regain public support for himself and his cabinet once the approval rating falls below 20 percent, with political experts close to the matter adding it is now not a question of "if" the prime minister will resign, it's a question of "when."

Source: Xinhua
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