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Another worry for Japan's Abe

Tuesday, February 23, 2016 - 01:36

A new opinion poll in Japan suggests confidence in Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government is slipping. After a series of scandals and blunders by top-ranking officials, his support has fallen to 47%. As Graham MacKay reports that's not good news for the author of the economic brand called Abenomics.

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Shinzo Abe and his cabinet taking hit with a slump in support for the Japanese government. A new poll from state media showing that less than 47% of people approve of the way the country's being run. That's a steep drop from the last survey, which was only January. Reuters Elein Lies explains why the government's rubbing more than half the population up the wrong way. (SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) REUTERS CORRESPONDENT ELEIN LIES, SAYING: "It's been just one thing after another. About a month ago, the economy minister Akira Amari had to quit in connection with a money scandal. Then after that, a politician had to quit because of accessions of an extramarital affair, and another politician said that broadcasters might shut down of they seem to be biased, and so it's just been an accumulation of things." Abe himself may not have done much recently to get the public wound up... But the ex-finance minister Amari was one of his closest allies... And he even made a speech at the wedding of Kensuke Miyazaki, the member of parliament who was outed for cheating. Until recently, that may not have dented his reputation too much... But there's a reason why people are now feeling a lot less forgiving towards their politicians. (SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) REUTERS CORRESPONDENT ELEIN LIES, SAYING: "I think that people were willing to put up wit an awful lot from Abe and from Abe's government as long as the economy was good. But the last GDP figures that came out showed that it shrank unexpectedly at the end of last year, and so I think the people's patience is starting to wear thin." The economy is front and centre of Abe's mind right now. The Bank of Japan has brought in negative interest rates to try and spark spending... But more than 80 percent of people think that's unlikely to work.

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Another worry for Japan's Abe

Tuesday, February 23, 2016 - 01:36