Support for Japan PM Kishida jumps, but policies still a hard sell - survey

April 17, 2023 10:08 AM AEST | By Reuters
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TOKYO (Reuters) - Support for the government of Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida jumped in a survey taken at the weekend, but voters remained dubious about its proposals, including new childcare plans aimed at reversing the declining birthrate.

On Saturday, Kishida was evacuated unhurt after a suspect threw what appeared to be a smoke bomb at an outdoor speech in western Japan, an incident echoing the assassination of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at an election campaign even in July.

A survey conducted by ANN television on Saturday and Sunday found 45.3% of respondents supported Kishida's government, up 10.2 points from the previous month.

But roughly 80% did not think the government's childcare plans would do much to solve the low birthrate problem and some 60% disagreed with funding those plans by increasing the burden on taxpayers.

A leading ruling party lawmaker told Reuters on April 13 that Japan should spend around 5 trillion yen on the new plan, noting that extra debt issuance won't be ruled out.

Though Kishida struggled with sliding support late in 2022, more recent polls have showed a slight uptick in his ratings. A survey by the Mainichi daily also conducted at the weekend found support for Kishida at 36%, up from 33% in March.

(Reporting by Elaine Lies)


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