Nhk Poll: Cabinet Approval Rating Down To 45%

NHK poll: Cabinet approval rating down to 45%

The approval rate of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Cabinet has dropped two points from last month to 45 percent according to a poll by NHK. The disapproval rate rose two points to 37 percent.

NHK surveyed 2,150 people aged 18 or older across the country by telephone for three days until Sunday, and 58 percent, or 1,238, of them responded.

Asked why they support the Abe Cabinet, 49 percent said it seems better than the alternatives, while 17 percent said it's a Cabinet made up of political parties they support.

Asked why they don't support the Abe Cabinet, 47 percent said they don't trust Abe, and 26 percent said they have no expectations for the policies of the Cabinet.

Japan's government is expected to approve a plan to send more Maritime Self-Defense Force ships to the Middle East. Their mission would be to gather information to ensure the safe passage of Japan-related commercial ships in the region. Of those who responded to the survey, 40 percent supported the plan, but 39 percent opposed it.

Last month, South Korea announced that it will conditionally suspend its earlier decision to scrap an intelligence-sharing agreement, known as GSOMIA, with Japan.

Asked whether Japan-South Korea ties would improve following that decision, 16 percent said they think so, while 62 percent said they don't think so.

Asked which country should compromise to improve the bilateral ties, five percent said Japan, 28 percent said South Korea, and 49 percent responded both. Eleven percent said there is no need to improve bilateral ties.

About the controversy over the cherry blossom viewing party hosted by the prime minister, two percent said they were very convinced by Prime Minister Abe's explanation. Fifteen percent said his explanation was convincing to a certain extent, 30 percent said they were not very convinced and 41 percent said they were not convinced at all.

The government has decided not to hold the annual cherry-blossom viewing party next year, and plans to clarify the criteria for inviting guests and review the number of guests. Thirty-three percent said they support resuming the event after the planned review, but 53 percent said the event should be abolished.