Three months since assuming office, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s cabinet registered a declining approval rating.
A recent NHK poll conducted over the weekend showed a decrease in the approval rate of Noda’s cabinet. Approval rating was down by 8 points to 37% from previous month while disapproval rate was up by 12 points to 42%.
Out of the number of respondents who disapprove Noda’s Cabinet, 39% said they do not have confidence in their policies while 34% believed the Cabinet does not have the ability to implement the policies.
Defense Minister Yasuo Ichikawa and consumer affairs Minister Kenji Yamaoka were recommended to resign from their posts, said 50% of the respondents. The two cabinet members face censure motions against them in the Upper House.
On Noda’s plan to submit a consumption tax increase by March, 44% approved of the plan while 48% did not favor such.
When asked about whether or not they would want political realignment, 51% responded on the affirmative
while 41% said no.
Support for Noda and his cabinet has gradually declined and was hurt even more by controversial verbal blunders which forced Noda’s first trade minister to resign just eight days in his post.
Noda is Japan’s sixth prime minister in five years. He has grappled with the extraordinary challenges brought about by the devastating March 11 earthquake and tsunami and the ensuing nuclear crisis- the world’s worst since the 1986 Chernobyl accident. The government continues to hurdle the problem of radioactive contamination from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, the food scare and health risk, and the proper disposal of radioactive waste.