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Poll: Support for Japan PM plunges to new low

Poll: Support for Japan PM plunges to new low

Public support for Japan's premier dropped to a new low in a survey released Monday, with almost half of respondents demanding he resign if relocation of the U.S. military base on Okinawa isn't settled quickly.
The poll by the Yomiuri daily, Japan's top-selling newspaper, found the approval rate for Yukio Hatoyama's Cabinet plummeted to 33 percent in April, down from 41 percent in its March survey.
The drop comes just seven months after Hatoyama took office amid high hopes for change following a historic election that ousted the long-ruling Liberal Democratic Party.
Hatoyama has repeatedly pledged to resolve the relocation of the U.S. military base on the southern island of Okinawa by the end of May, and 49 percent of respondents in the Yomiuri survey said he should do so if it isn't resolved by then.
Okinawa hosts more than half the 47,000 U.S. troops in Japan under a security pact. To ease Okinawa's burden, Japan and the U.S. agreed in 2006 to move the sprawling Futenma Marine air field to a less crowded part of the island, and move 8,000 Marines from Okinawa to the Pacific island of Guam.
But Hatoyama's new government is divided over calls that a replacement for Futenma should be located off Okinawa or outside of Japan altogether. Washington wants Tokyo to stick to the 2006 agreement.
The Yomiuri survey showed the disapproval rate for Hatoyama's Cabinet rose to 56 percent in April from 50 percent in March, with 44 percent of respondents saying the prime minister lacked leadership.
Some 57 percent said they did not want Hatoyama's ruling Democratic Party of Japan to win a majority of upper house seats in upcoming elections this summer, the survey showed.
The Yomiuri conducted the survey on April 2-4 through random telephone interviews. The paper said the survey had 1,096 responses. It did not give a margin of error, but a poll of that size would generally have a 4 percentage point margin of error.


Updated : 2021-02-27 14:55 GMT+08:00