Voter support for Japan PM rises to 72%: Poll

2013-02-28 01:53:16 GMT2013-02-28 09:53:16(Beijing Time)

Voter support for Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe rose to 72% or more in two weekend opinion polls, signalling that his drastic economic policies are winning backing and giving him a shot at becoming a rare long-term leader.

Abe, who took office in December after his conservative Liberal Democratic Party’s massive election win, has promised to beat deflation and revive the long-stagnant economy with a mix of hyper-easy monetary policy and big fiscal spending.

Abe, just back from a summit in Washington with U.S. President Barack Obama, is set to nominate Asian Development Bank President Haruhiko Kuroda, a supporter of his aggressive monetary easing stance, as the next Bank of Japan (BOJ) governor, sources said on Monday.

Seventy percent of voters backed Abe in a survey by the Nikkei business daily, up two percentage points, while Kyodo news agency put his rating at 72.8%, up 6.1 points. Fifty-eight percent in the Nikkei survey agreed the next BOJ governor should be a proponent of drastic monetary easing.

The consistent high levels of support are rare for a Japanese leader, whose ratings often start high but then sink. That fate befell Abe during his troubled 2006-2007 first term.

Abe is Japan’s seventh premier since popular Junichiro Koizumi ended a rare five-year term in 2006.

Abe’s LDP and its junior partner have a huge majority in parliament’s lower house but need to win a majority in a July upper house election to cement their hold on power.

The Nikkei survey showed that 48% of voters were in favor of Japan joining talks on a U.S.-led trade pact, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), while 33% were opposed.

Abe could announce a decision to join the TPP negotiations—staunchly opposed by Japan’s powerful farm lobby—as early as this week, media said.


Editor: Mei Jingya
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