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44% oppose 100,000-yen handout, Kishida Cabinet support hovers at 48%: Mainichi poll


TOKYO -- Support for the Cabinet of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida stood at 48% in an opinion poll conducted by the Mainichi Shimbun and the Social Survey Research Center on Nov. 13, while 44% expressed opposition to a 100,000-yen cash-and-coupon handout the government has planned for those aged 18 and under.

    The 48% approval rating was just below the 49% marked in the previous survey conducted on Oct. 4 and 5. The disapproval rating, meanwhile, inched up to 43%, compared to 40% in the previous survey.

    The second Kishida Cabinet was inaugurated on Nov. 10 following the recent House of Representatives election. When respondents who said they supported the Cabinet were asked to provide a reason, 29% said it looked likely they could have high expectations for the Cabinet's policies, while 27% cited their favorable impression of the prime minister's personality. Another 15% said it was because the Cabinet was part of the ruling coalition between the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and Komeito.

    Reasons for not supporting the Cabinet included, "Politics appears unlikely to change," at 39% and "It is unlikely I can hold good expectations for its policies," at 31%.

    The government has decided to distribute 100,000 yen in cash and coupons to people aged 18 and under as a measure to offset the effects of the coronavirus. When asked about the government's decision to set the annual income cap for the handout at 9.6 million yen (about $84,300), 28% said the decision was "appropriate" while 20% said "no income restriction is necessary." A total of 44% of respondents -- the largest group -- answered that they were opposed to the 100,000-yen handout itself.

    The proportion of those who supported the measure -- either answering that the income cap was appropriate or that no income cap was necessary -- topped 50% for those aged in their 40s and under, but dropped below half for those in their 50s or older.

    When asked whether they hoped Prime Minister Fumio Kishida would carry on the lines of former prime ministers Shinzo Abe and Yoshihide Suga, or shift from them, 53% answered they hoped for a "shift," while 14% said they wanted a "continuation." Another 18% said they couldn't decide either way, while 15% said they had no good expectations for Kishida.

    As for the LDP's decision to have Toshimitsu Motegi replace Akira Amari as the party's secretary-general, 51% gave a positive evaluation of the move. Another 19% said they did not view it positively, and 29% were undecided in their evaluation. Amari previously came under fire over a graft scandal.

    The LDP scored the highest approval rating for a political party in the poll, at 32%, compared with 34% in the previous survey. Next was the Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Innovation Party) at 16% -- doubling its rating from 8% in the previous survey and surpassing the Constitutional Democratic Party's 12% (13% in the last poll). Following were the Japanese Communist Party at 5% (down from 6% previously); the Democratic Party for the People at 4% (up from 2%); Reiwa Shinsengumi at 4% (up from 1%); and Komeito also at 4% (down from 6%). A total of 20% of respondents said they did not support a particular political party, down from 28% in the October poll.

    The survey was conducted via SMS texts to mobile phones and automated voice calls to landlines. A total of 747 valid responses were received via mobile phone and 325 via landlines.

    (Japanese original by Nanae Ito, Political News Department)

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