Kishida Cabinet approval rate up to 46%

The latest NHK poll shows the approval rate for Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio's Cabinet rose 4 percentage points to 46 percent. The disapproval rate was down by 4 points to 31 percent.

NHK conducted the telephone survey involving 2,539 randomly chosen people aged 18 or older over the weekend, and 1,225 people responded.

Of those who approve of the Cabinet, 45 percent said it seems better than other possible ones. Twenty-two percent said it is composed of political parties they support, while 13 percent said they trust Kishida.

Fifty percent of those who disapprove of it said they don't have high expectations for policies by the Cabinet, and 20 percent cited a lack of ability to implement policies. Eleven percent said the Cabinet is not made of parties they support.

Respondents were also asked whether effective debate can be expected to help stop Russia's invasion of Ukraine at the G7 summit in Hiroshima that starts on Friday. Twenty-eight percent answered they can expect very much, or to some extent, while 66 percent said they don't expect much, or anything at all.

This month Kishida held a summit with South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol, following one in March, and agreed to work to improve ties between their countries.

Asked about whether bilateral ties will improve, 53 percent said they think so, while 32 percent said they don't. Fifteen percent did not answer or said they don't know.

The survey asked whether respondents are worried about a possible resurgence of coronavirus infections after the government downgraded the legal status of COVID-19 to the same category as that of seasonal flu this month.

Sixty-four percent said they are concerned very much, or to some extent, while 32 percent said they are not so worried, or not at all.

In March, the government started allowing individuals to decide whether to wear masks indoors and outdoors as an anti-coronavirus measure.

Fifty-five percent of the respondents said they are wearing masks the same as before, while 33 percent said they go without masks on more occasions. Eight percent said they never wear masks.

Asked about how much Japan's economy has recovered compared to pre-pandemic levels, 49 percent said it has almost fully recovered or recovered to some extent. Forty-four percent said it has not recovered so well, or not at all.