An NHK poll shows support for the Cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has fallen to 47 percent --- the first drop below 50 percent since this cabinet's inauguration in December 2012.
NHK conducted a telephone survey of 1,522 people aged 20 or older during the 3-day period to Sunday. 64 percent responded.
The support rate declined by 5 percentage points from the previous survey in June. Disapproval was up 6 points to 38 percent.
Of those who support the Cabinet, 32 percent said it seems better than other possible cabinets. 29 percent said they believe the Cabinet has the ability to implement its policies.
Among those who disapprove of the Cabinet, 46 percent said they don't expect much from its policies.
The respondents were asked about the Cabinet's decision to reinterpret the Constitution to enable Japan to exercise the right to collective self-defense.
10 percent said they strongly approve of the decision and 28 percent said they support it to some extent. 30 percent said they disapprove somewhat, and 26 percent said they completely disapprove.
9 percent of the respondents said the Cabinet decision on the reinterpretation was made after thorough discussion, while 59 percent said it was made without adequate debate. 26 percent were undecided.
The Abe Cabinet cited the need for a limited exercise of the right to collective self-defense based on what it termed the increasing acute security environment surrounding Japan.
10 percent of the respondents said they are firmly convinced by the explanation. 33 percent said they are convinced to some extent. But 34 percent said they are not so convinced and 17 percent said they are not convinced at all.
The Cabinet has stressed that the use of force permitted under the Constitution should be limited to the minimum extent necessary for self-defense, and that the Cabinet decision this time applies such brakes.
6 percent of the respondents said the explanation is very convincing and 29 percent said it is convincing to some extent.
37 percent said the explanation was not so convincing and 21 percent said it is not at all persuasive.
Jul. 14, 2014 - Updated 11:02 UTC