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61% find Abe gov't arrogant and slack after dismissal of 2 ministers: survey

TOKYO -- A total of 61% of respondents to a weekend Mainichi Shimbun survey said they deem the de-facto dismissal of the Olympics minister and the state land minister over gaffes stemmed from the arrogance and slackness of the long-running administration led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, far surpassing the 21% who said they don't.

Ichiro Tsukada (Mainichi/Masahiro Kawata)

The nationwide poll, conducted on April 13 and 14, questioned about the recent effective sacking of Olympics and Paralympics minister Yoshitaka Sakurada and state land minister Ichiro Tsukada. Sakurada stepped down after stating that a lawmaker he backs was more important than recovery from the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami, while Tsukada resigned to take responsibility for his remarks that could be construed as influence-peddling regarding a road construction project connecting the home prefectures of Abe and Finance Minister Taro Aso.

Even among supporters of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), 50% said they found the current administration arrogant and slack in relation to the ouster of the ministers, well over the 37% who said they didn't. Among those with no party affiliation, 63% felt the regime was arrogant and slack, while 16% didn't.

The approval rating for the Abe Cabinet rose to 41%, up 2 percentage points from the previous survey conducted in March, while the disapproval rate dropped to 37%, down 4 points. It was the first time for the approval rating to overtake the disapproval rate since a November 2018 survey.

Asked which party respondents would vote for in the proportional representation system in this summer's House of Councillors election if they were to vote now, 27% said they would cast their ballots for the LDP, followed by 13% favoring the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDP), and 5% each for Nippon Ishin (Japan Innovation Party), the Japanese Communist Party (JCP) and junior ruling coalition partner Komeito. However, the largest group of respondents, at 36%, did not respond to the question, suggesting that many voters have not yet decided which party to select. Some 8% of respondents cited other political groups as their preference.

As for party approval ratings, the LDP was the most popular at 30%, followed by the CDP at 8%, Komeito and the JCP at 4% each, Nippon Ishin at 3%, and the Democratic Party for the People and the Social Democratic Party at 1% each. A total of 42% of respondents did not support any political party.

(Japanese original by Satoru Iwashima, Poll Office)

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