NHK poll: Kishida Cabinet approval rate hits record high

An NHK poll shows that the approval rate for Prime Minister Kishida Fumio's Cabinet stands at 59 percent, up 4 percentage points from last month. That's the highest figure since the Kishida administration was launched last October. The disapproval rate is unchanged at 23 percent.

NHK conducted the telephone survey over the weekend. Nearly 2,000 people responded.

Asked if they will vote in the Upper House election to be held next month, 50 percent said they will definitely vote and 32 percent said they intend to vote, while 11 percent were undecided and 5 percent said they will not vote.

Asked about their level of interest in the election, 16 percent said they are very interested and 49 percent said they are interested to some extent. But 25 percent are not very interested and 5 percent have no interest at all.

The rate of people who said they are very interested fell 3 points from the same question asked about the Upper House election three years ago.

Asked which is the most important among six issues in the election, 42 percent chose economic measures, followed by 17 percent for diplomacy and national security, 15 percent for social security, 7 percent for measures against the coronavirus and 5 percent for both energy and environmental policies and revision of the Constitution.

Questioned over their expected outcome of the election, 25 percent said they want the governing coalition to gain more seats and another 25 percent said they hope the opposition camp will do so, while 43 percent said they cannot say either way.

The government doubled the daily limit for the number of people entering Japan to 20,000 this month, and reopened the country to overseas tourists. It plans to ease entry restrictions in stages.

Asked about the government's moves, 47 percent said the measures are appropriate, 23 percent said it should ease restrictions further and 20 percent said the restrictions should not have been eased.

The government's new guidelines on face masks say people need not wear them when they are outdoors and don't have much conversation with others.

Asked about whether they will wear a mask outdoors, 48 percent said they will wear one as much as they can, 37 percent said they would rather not and 8 percent said they do not want to at all.

As for the impact on household budgets from rising prices, such as those for food, commodities and energy, 26 percent said the impact is large and 50 percent said there is an impact to some extent. But 14 percent said the impact is slight and 3 percent said there is no impact at all.