April 2, 2018 / 12:54 AM / 21 days ago

Polls show about half of Japanese voters don't support PM Abe's Cabinet

TOKYO (Reuters) - About half of Japanese voters don’t support Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration amid suspected cronyism and cover-up, opinion polls by Japanese media showed.

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attends at an upper house parliamentary session in Tokyo, Japan March 28, 2018. REUTERS/Issei Kato

The Yomiuri newspaper’s survey issued on Monday showed that the disapproval rating for Abe’s Cabinet rose to 50 percent from early March, compared with 47.5 percent in the Kyodo news agency’s survey published on Sunday.

The support rate for the Cabinet showed a slight rise to 42.4 percent in the Kyodo poll, while the Yomiuri poll showed a drop of six points to 42 percent.

Both opinion polls were conducted between March 31-April 1.

The polls followed last week’s testimony by ex-finance ministry official Nobuhisa Sagawa, who said neither Abe nor his wife influenced the murky sales of state-owned land to a school operator or the finance ministry’s altering of documents about the deal.  

The slide in Abe’s ratings has clouded his prospects of winning a third three-year term as president of his Liberal Democratic Party, a victory that would set him on track to become Japan’s longest-serving premier. Abe has been prime minister since 2012.

Reporting by Kaori Kaneko and Linda Sieg; Editing by Paul Tait

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