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Japanese PM's approval rating equals previous all-time low

07-04-2011 15:32 BJT Special Report:9.0 Magnitude Earthquake Rocks Japan |

TOKYO, July 4 (Xinhua) -- The approval rating for the cabinet of Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan has plunged 5 percentage points to a joint record low of 19 percent, a survey by the Mainichi Shimbun newspaper showed Monday.

The Mainichi Shimbun's survey, conducted over the weekend, also revealed that in addition to the 5 percent slump, the disapproval rating for the beleaguered prime minister's cabinet remained at 56 percent, as with last month's survey by the popular daily.

Prime Minister Kan saw the public approval rating for his cabinet tumble to 19 percent in a February poll by the Mainichi.

February's poll marked the lowest rating since Kan's ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) swept to power in September 2009, bringing an end to an almost half-century of uninterrupted Liberal Democratic Party rule in Japan.

Another of Japan's top-three dailies, the Yomiuri Shimbun, also conducted a survey between Friday and Sunday showing that the prime minister's support rating slid 7 percentage points to 24 percent, also marking this particular poll's joint lowest level.

In March, the daily recorded the same support rating, the lowest since Kan stepped into office as the nation's leader just over a year ago.

According to the Yomiuri poll published Monday, the disapproval rating for Kan's cabinet increased by 4 points from the previous survey taken last month, to stand at 63 percent.

Kan took office in June last year from his predecessor, Yukio Hatoyama, who hastily resigned after his public support rating plunged to 20 percent following his bungled handling of a controversial U.S. base relocation deal in Okinawa prefecture struck with the United States and his involvement in a money and politics scandal.

On June 2, parliament rejected a no-confidence motion submitted by opposition parties against Prime Minister Kan and his cabinet.

However, in an attempt to avoid policy deadlocks Kan promised to step down as prime minister and leader of the ruling DPJ once three legislative stipulations have been met.

These include budgets to finance post-quake and tsunami reconstruction efforts, deficit covering bond issuance and new energy initiatives, although there is no guarantee the new bills will be passed through an increasingly divided parliament.

The opposition-controlled upper caucus has been incensed by the prime minister's handling of the March 11 disasters, extending of the current parliamentary session, the naming of an LDP lawmaker to join his newly rejigged cabinet and generally clinging on to his position for longer than they feel is necessary.

The upper house can effectively block bills from being enacted, creating a legislative gridlock.

Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: Xinhua

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