Approval Ratings Plummet for Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida
Recent polls conducted by major Japanese media outlets have shown a significant decline in the approval rating of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s cabinet. The support rates have dropped to a new low, raising concerns about the ability of the Kishida government to govern effectively.
Analysts attribute the declining support to two main factors. First, the public dissatisfaction with the government’s economic policies. Rising material costs and prices due to international food security and energy crisis, as well as the sharp depreciation of the yen, have severely impacted people’s purchasing power. The Kishida government’s proposed economic stimulus plan and plans to increase public medical insurance premiums have been met with opposition and viewed as inconsistent by the public.
Secondly, the Kishida government has been embroiled in a series of scandals, including ministers being exposed for extramarital affairs, violating election laws, and facing tax arrears. These scandals have raised questions about Kishida’s leadership and further contributed to the decline in approval ratings.
The pressure on Kishida to govern is increasing as his cabinet support rate falls into “dangerous waters” territory, a range that is considered a precursor to stepping down. Additionally, the “Aoki rate”, which measures the sum of the cabinet support rate and the party support rate, is nearing the threshold of 50%, indicating difficulties in operating and potential collapse of the regime.
Furthermore, there are signs of political factions within the ruling Liberal Democratic Party distancing themselves from Kishida, indicating potential challenges to his leadership within the party.
The future of Kishida’s leadership will hinge on the support of his own party and the ability to retain his position as the president of the Liberal Democratic Party. Although there is no strong opponent within the party challenging Kishida, the continued decline in approval ratings could lead to increased pressure from party members for a change in leadership. As the uncertainty surrounding Kishida’s governance prospects grows, the Japanese political arena remains on edge.