Cabinet Approval Rating 25%: Irritation at Words Speaking Louder Than Actions

This is a great example of constructive criticism in journalism.

Source: Yomiuri Shimbun – 内閣支持率25% 「有言不実行」へのいらだちだ(12月7日付・読売社説)

Cabinet Approval Rating 25%: Irritation at Words Speaking Louder Than Actions
Yomiuri Shimbun Staff Editorial
December 7, 2010

The Kan Administration’s approval rating has fallen into dangerous waters.

The people seem to believe it cannot handle either domestic or international issues.

In the latest Yomiuri Shimbun survey, the Cabinet’s approval rating fell to 25%. Only one in four support the administration. Its disapproval rating jumped to 65%.

The biggest cause of disapproval was “the Prime Minister doesn’t have leadership skills” at 36%. Nearly half a year after the inauguration of the “Walk the Talk” Cabinet, that slogan is carrying a big question mark.

There is also great dissatisfaction with economic policy.

Despite the enactment of a revised 4.8 trillion yen budget filled with countermeasures against the strengthening yen and deflation, 83% of respondents believe the administration has not properly responded to the state of the economy.

It isn’t just the recession. There is also criticism for the administration’s lack of action against the perilous state of the treasury and the pension system. The people say a strong hand is needed to deal with these problems.

There is division within the ruling party toward participation in the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement, but 60% of the public is favor of it.

If the Prime Minister, with these voices at his back, could unite the Democratic Party of Japan behind the agreement, perhaps he’d put the brakes on his careening numbers.

The lack of progress on former DPJ leader Ichiro Ozawa’s corruption case is another reason the people doubt his leadership. 86% think the DPJ has not dealt with this issue appropriately.

In the past, when the Prime Minister clearly stated he was going to remove Ozawa from the party, his approval rating rose. Quick progress on that front could be the key to his revival.

Over 85% now believe the administration will not resolve the controversy over the American military base in Futenma. Both [Former Prime Minister] Hatoyama and Kan have complicated the issue, and they bear heavy responsibility for that.

In order to reshape our foreign policy toward China and Russia, it’s urgent to strengthen our alliance with America. Yet both administrations have instead sought harmony with the Social Democratic Party, which opposes our previous bilateral agreement.

If there were a Lower House election today, the Liberal Democratic Party would win. This is the same reversal that voters threatened in polls at the end of the Hatoyama government.

Prime Minister Kan will now focus on preparing next year’s budget and reforming the tax system, two difficult issues that will demand leadership. How will he break through? The only way to restore the people’s trust is to steadily solve problems one after another. If he can do that, then he deserves to govern.

内閣支持率25% 「有言不実行」へのいらだちだ(12月7日付・読売社説)

菅内閣の支持率が、見る間に低下し、「危険水域」に入った。

 外交、内政の課題をきちんと処理できないことに対する国民のいらだちの表れではないか。

 読売新聞の世論調査で内閣支持率が25%に下落した。4人に1人の支持しかないことになる。不支持率は65%と跳ね上がった。

 不支持の理由の第一が「首相に指導力がない」で36%だった。発足後半年を迎える「有言実行内閣」に大きな疑問符がついた形だ。

 経済政策への不満も根強い。

 円高・デフレ対策を盛り込んだ4兆8000億円超の補正予算は成立したものの、「今の経済情勢に適切に対応していない」と答えた人が83%にも上った。

 景気低迷への不満だけではあるまい。財政の危機的状況や社会保障政策の問題を放置していることへの批判だ。抜本的な手を早く打つ必要があるという国民の意思が示されたとも言えよう。

 政治問題化しつつある環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)への参加については、与党内で賛否が分かれている。だが、国民の6割はTPP参加に賛成だ。

 こうした声を背に首相が民主党を一本化できれば、支持率低下に歯止めがかかるのではないか。

 小沢一郎元代表の「政治とカネ」の問題が進展しなかったことも指導力不足が原因と見られている。民主党が適切に対応していないという人は、実に86%だった。

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