TOKYO Oct 2 Public support for Japanese Prime
Minister Yoshihiko Noda's government was at 54.6 percent, a
Kyodo news agency survey showed on Sunday, down 8.2 percentage
points in the first month after he took office.
Noda, Japan's sixth premier in five years, enjoyed strong
support right after he took over from his unpopular predecessor,
but the 54-year-old premier had to sack his trade minister just
a week after taking office due to gaffes.
His government is now trying to draft and submit to the
divided parliament this month another extra budget to fund
rebuilding efforts from a huge earthquake and tsunami that
destroyed northeastern Japan and its Pacific coast in March.
The government and the ruling Democratic Party agreed last
week the size of the extra budget, the third one for this fiscal
year to March 2012, would be about 12 trillion yen ($156
They also agreed to raise taxes by 9.2 trillion yen over a
10-year period to fund rebuilding projects as Japan grapples
with a public debt twice the size of its $5 trillion economy.
But with confusion over how much non-tax revenues the
government would be able to secure from selling its stakes in
firms such as Japan Tobacco and Inpex Corp , it
could end up hiking taxes by an additional 2 trillion yen.
Respondents to the Kyodo survey backed the extra budget
draft but were split over the tax hike plan.
In the telephone poll, 63.2 percent backed the extra budget
draft, while 30.3 percent did not.
On the possible 11.2 trillion yen tax hikes, 50.5 percent
were opposed to the idea, while 46.2 percent backed the
Noda needs help from opposition parties which control the
upper chamber of parliament and can block bills.
Opposition parties have said they are willing to cooperate
on the third extra budget, but the main opposition Liberal
Democratic Party wants a snap election after this budget is
Noda has said he does not plan to call a snap election
($1 = 77.080 Japanese Yen)
(Reporting by Yoko Kubota; Editing by Sugita Katyal)