6% of Japanese believe Fumio suitable for PM

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Only 6% of surveyed Japanese believe Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is suitable for his position, according to a poll conducted by Japanese broadcaster TBS.

The survey was conducted among 1,227 Japanese adults on December 3-4. The broadcaster interviewed respondents on which of the politicians they think is the most suitable for the position of prime minister. Former Foreign Minister Taro Kono, who is currently serving as the digital affairs minister, secured 19% of the vote. Kono was Kishida’s rival in the 2021 Liberal Democratic Party leadership election. Former Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba comes second with 11% of the votes. Ishiba was nominated for prime minister twice, in 2012 and in 2020, but lost the races.

The survey showed that Kishida’s predecessor, Yoshihide Suga, received 7% of the public’s favor. In October 2021, Kishida succeeded Suga, who stepped down after just one year in office amid record low public approval ratings over the government’s inefficient handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and slow vaccination rates linked to limited supply of foreign drugs. Another TBS poll showed that support rate for Kishida’s cabinet dropped to 34.2% in December, while the disapproval rating rose to record 61.9%.

Kishida’s government has been under fire from voters over rising inflation and not enough action on cutting ties to a contentious South Korean sect that forced his economy minister to step down at the end of October.

In mid-November, the Japanese prime minister also dismissed Justice Minister Yasuhiro Hanashi over his controversial statements about duties related to signing death sentences, which sparked criticism among Japan’s opposition parties. At the same time, Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Minoru Terada resigned over a funds-related scandal.

Up to 77% of Japanese believe that the responsibility for the failed government personnel policy lies with Kishida, according to the survey.—INP