First polls show broad support for new Japanese PM Suga’s cabinet

Tokyo, Sep 18 (efe-epa).- The new cabinet formed by new Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has the support of more than 60 percent of the respondents of the first polls conducted by the country’s leading newspapers.

Public support for the new government ranges from 64 percent, according to a poll by the Mainichi newspaper, to 74 percent by the Nikkei financial daily, the third-highest approval for an administration at the time of its inauguration in the country’s history.

The highest approval rating of a new administration at the beginning of its tenure was that of Junichiro Koizumi in 2001, which was backed by 80 percent of respondents, followed by Yukio Hatoyama in 2009, which also exceeded 70 percent, Nikkei and local news agency Kyodo reported.

The approval rating of Suga’s government, which some have attributed to his personality and sense of stability stemming from his promise to provide continuity, is also higher than that of his predecessor, Shinzo Abe’s return to power in December 2012, of just over 60 percent.

Suga was elected prime minister by the Japanese parliament on Wednesday after a succession process triggered by Abe’s resignation as head of government for health reasons.

In the public statements he has made so far, Suga – Abe’s right-hand man as chief cabinet secretary and government spokesperson for more than seven years – has said that he will build on his predecessor’s “Abenomics” strategy to stimulate the economy while addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and other challenges facing the country.

A sign of this promise of continuity was his decision to keep 11 ministers from the Abe administration in his cabinet, eight of them in their former posts, including key figures such as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Taro Aso and Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi.

In response to the best time to hold the next general elections, more than half of those surveyed by Kyodo said at or near the end of the Lower House’s current term in October 2021.

Prime Minister Suga has not spoken about the possibility of early elections. EFE-EPA


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