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Most Japanese voters give cabinet thumbs-up
(Yomiuri Shimbun)
Updated: 2005-11-02 10:21

More than 50 percent of voters have high hopes for Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's new Cabinet launched Monday, according to an overnight telephone survey conducted by The Yomiuri Shimbun.

Of the 1,695 voters contacted, 950 responded, of whom 51 percent said they had high expectations of the Cabinet, up a staggering 27 percentage points from a survey conducted after cabinet reshuffle in September last year.

Japan's newly named Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe (C) arrives at Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's official residence in Tokyo, October 31, 2005. [Reuters]
Japan's newly named Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe (C) arrives at Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's official residence in Tokyo, October 31, 2005. [Reuters]
Seventy-two percent said they thought Koizumi would push ahead with his reform policy, indicating strong public support for the prime minister's reform policies.

Asked about their impression of the new Cabinet, however, opinions were divided. Fifty-four percent said they did not see any freshness in it, 41 percent said it was solid and had the abilities to implement reforms, and 39 percent said they had no opinion about it.

Regarding the new Cabinet's policies, 54 percent said the Cabinet would not be able to make headway in foreign affairs, and 56 percent said it would not be able to reform the social security system.

The Cabinet's approval rate was 62.5 percent, up 1.5 percentage points compared with a telephone survey conducted after the general election in September. Those who did not approve of the the Cabinet stood at 20.4 percent, down 12.1 percentage points.

The approval rate of the Liberal Democratic Party was 45.4 percent, down 2.8 points, and that of the Democratic Party of Japan was 14.2 percent, down 4.8 percentage points.

The survey asked respondents to choose the best successor to Koizumi out of six candidates. Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe romped home at 50 percent. Next was former Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda, who was not given a portfolio, at 12 percent, followed by Foreign Minister Taro Aso at 7 percent, Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Heizo Takenaka at 4 percent, Finance Minister Sadakazu Tanigaki at 3 percent and Environment Minister Yuriko Koike at 2 percent.
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