(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Japan’s new administration led by Naoto Kan is already losing public support, according to a poll by Mainichi. 52 per cent of respondents approve of Kan’s appointed cabinet, down 14 points since early June.

In August 2009, Japanese voters renewed the House of Representatives. Final results gave the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) a victory with 308 of the 480 lower house seats at stake. Yukio Hatoyama, the DPJ leader, was sworn in as prime minister in September.

Aside from a brief period in the 1990s, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) had administered Japan’s government for more than five decades.

On Jun. 2, the DPJ’s Yukio Hatoyama tendered his resignation, citing a broken election promise over the permanence of an American army base in the Okinawa prefecture. Hatoyama had also been embroiled in a corruption scandal over campaign funding irregularities.

On Jun. 8, Kan, a former finance minister, took over as prime minister. Since the retirement of Junichiro Koizumi in September 2006, Japan has had five different heads of government: Shinzo Abe, Yasuo Fukuda and Taro Aso of the LDP; and Hatoyama and Kan of the DPJ.

On Jun. 27, Kan acknowledged that, if the DPJ coalition with the People’s New Party (PNP) fails to retain its majority in the upper house after this month’s election, the ruling party “would face a difficult situation in managing government,” adding, “It would be necessary to have talks with other parties.”

Polling Data

Do you approve or disapprove of Naoto Kan’s cabinet?

  Jun. 28

 

Jun. 9

 

Approve

 

52%

 

66%

 

Disapprove

 

28%

 

18%

 

 

Source: Mainichi
Methodology: Telephone interviews with 1,089 Japanese adults, conducted on Jun. 27 and Jun. 28, 2010. Margin of error is 3 per cent.