Japan PM’s support slides to lowest point
Published: Sep 12, 2022 06:24 PM
Support for Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida tumbled to its lowest since he took office, hit by anger over his ruling party's ties to a controversial church and a state funeral for former leader Shinzo Abe, an opinion poll showed on Monday.

Government support fell to 41 percent, from 47 percent in a previous poll late in August, to hit its lowest since Kishida took office in October 2021, identical to similar polls published last week, and down from 57 percent in early July, the poll showed.

The share of those who did not support Kishida rose to 47 percent from 39 percent, the poll by the Asahi Shimbun daily showed.

Links to the Unification Church, which was founded in South Korea in the 1950s, have become an increasing headache for Kishida since July 8, when Abe was killed by a suspect who blamed him for supporting the church, which he said had bankrupted his mother.

Kishida said on August 31 members of his ruling party will have to cut ties with the Unification Church.

Kishida's decision to hold a state funeral for Abe on September 27 has also sparked anger, both over the ties of lawmakers of his ruling Liberal Democratic Party to the church - Abe among them - and the size of the funds earmarked for it.

In parliament last week, Kishida defended his decision on the funeral for Abe, Japan's longest serving prime minister when he left office in 2020, but 64 percent of poll respondents said they could not accept the prime minister's reasoning.  

Opposition to the funeral rose to 56 percent from 50 percent in August, the Asahi said.