An NHK poll shows slightly more people support Prime Minister Kishida Fumio's Cabinet than those who disapprove.
This is the first time in seven months his approval rate was higher than his disapproval rate.
NHK conducted a telephone survey on 2,561 randomly selected people aged 18 years or older from Friday to Sunday. Forty-eight percent, or 1,227 responded.
Forty-one percent of respondents said they support the Kishida Cabinet. That's up 5 percentage points from the previous month's survey. The figure is higher than his disapproval rate of 40 percent, which is down one point from the previous month.
The respondents were asked if the government is doing a good job explaining the planned increase in defense spending.
The 5-year spending plan represents a 60 percent increase over the current five-year budget which ends in March.
Sixteen percent said, "Yes." Sixty-six percent said, "No." Eighteen percent either did not give any answer or said they cannot decide.
The South Korean government recently announced a plan to resolve war-time labor issues with Japan. It said a government-affiliated foundation will pay compensations for Korean plaintiffs who sued some Japanese companies, instead of the Japanese firms.
Seventeen percent said they greatly appreciate it. Thirty-six percent said, "To some extent." Twenty-three percent said they do not appreciate it very much while 11 percent said they do not appreciate it at all.
Asked how high their expectation is for the government's measures to help reverse the declining birth rate, 7 percent said, "Very high." Thirty-two percent said, "To some extent." Thirty-seven percent said, "Not much." Nineteen percent said, "Not at all."
Kishida has been urging businesses to raise salaries this spring, at a rate exceeding the rate of inflation.
Asked about this effort by the government, 8 percent said they greatly appreciate it. Forty-two percent said they appreciate it to some extent. Thirty-two percent said, "Not really" while 11 percent said they do not appreciate it at all.
The Kishida Cabinet says it is not ruling out any options including humanitarian support for North Korea if that helps with an early return of Japanese abducted to the North.
Japanese families of the abductees announced they would not oppose humanitarian aid if Pyongyang returns all the abductees while their parents are still alive.
Sixty-six percent said they support the policy while 16 percent said they do not. Eighteen percent either did not give any answer or said they cannot decide.