An NHK poll shows the approval rate for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Cabinet at 44 percent, up 5 points from last month. The disapproval rate is down 7 points to 36 percent.
It is the first time in 3 months that the approval rate has exceeded the disapproval rate.
The poll was taken by telephone over the weekend, and is based on responses from1,285 people aged 18 or older.
Of those who support the cabinet, 50 percent said it seems better than other cabinets. 16 percent said they think it can get things done.
Of those who don't support it, 35 percent said they don't trust Abe. 33 percent said they don't expect much in terms of policy.
The survey asked people how concerned they are about North Korea, which claimed the successful test of a hydrogen bomb earlier this month following the launch of a missile that flew over Japan.
52 percent of respondents said they were deeply concerned. 35 percent said they are worried to some extent.
At the UN Security Council, the United States and Japan were pushing for tougher sanctions on the North including a total ban on oil exports. China and Russia remain cautious about such moves.
49 percent of the respondents said the oil embargo is necessary, while 12 percent said it is not.