Shinzo Abe set to reshuffle cabinet as approval rating drops

UNB/Xinhua . Tokyo | Update:

Japan’s prime minister Shinzo Abe attends a meeting with Russian president during the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok on 5 September 2019. Photo: AFPThe approval rating for Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe’s cabinet dropped from last month, while the disapproval rate rose, a nationwide poll showed Tuesday, with the results coming on the eve of a planned cabinet reshuffle on Wednesday.

According to the survey conducted by Japan’s public broadcaster NHK, the approval rating for Abe’s cabinet dropped by one point from last month to stand at 48 per cent, while the disapproval rate rose by two points to 33 per cent.

Those in support of the Cabinet said that the administration “seems better than other alternatives,” although only 20 per cent felt it had the ability to put new policies into effect.

As for Abe’s trustworthiness, 31 per cent of those who were disapproving of the current Cabinet said they did not trust the prime minister.

But Abe plans to revamp his Cabinet and executive lineup Wednesday, and will likely retain the services of his allies holding similar political views in key ministerial and executive positions, sources close to the matter said, so that public opinion on his Cabinet will not change significantly.

While Abe is now almost certain of becoming Japan’s longest-serving prime minister in November and thus bolstering his chance of achieving his career-led goal of amending Japan’s pacifist Constitution, NHK’s poll showed that only five percent of respondents felt that this was an important policy issue that the new Cabinet should tackle.

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