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Japanese PM's approval rate tumbles following censure of two ministers

(Xinhua)

08:17, December 13, 2011

TOKYO, Dec. 12 (Xinhua) -- The approval rate for the Cabinet of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda tumbled in December from a month earlier, the public broadcaster NHK said Monday.

According to the results of NHK's latest poll, those approving of Noda's cabinet fell 8 points in Dec. from a month earlier to 37 percent, with the disapproval rate leaping by 12 points to 42 percent.

The readings are the lowest and highest respectively since Noda took office three months ago succeeding Naoto Kan who was forced to step down for his lack of leadership following the March 11 twin disasters that temporally crippled the nation.

The NHK poll also revealed that 50 percent of respondents asked whether Defense Minister Yasuo Ichikawa and Consumer Affairs Minister Kenji Yamaoka should resign following them being slapped with censure motions, replied in the affirmative, as public and opposition pressure begins to mount on Noda to take more decisive action and backtrack on his support for his disgraced ministers.

To this end, the opposition bloc has threatened to boycott next year's scheduled Diet deliberations if Noda continues to support his embarrassed ministers and sources familiar with the matter believe that Noda, to ensure cooperation from the opposition for his proposed tax hike, at a bare minimum will have to reshuffle his cabinet as soon as early next year.

Regarding Noda's planned tax hike itself, 44 percent of these polled said they were in favor of the plan, while 48 percent said they were in opposition to it.

The NHK poll also showed that in terms of political realignment, 41 percent were against it, but 51 percent said they were in favor of a realignment.

 
 
 
 
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