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Home > Media Reviews > News Review Last Updated: 11:26 08/04/2008
News Review #457: August 4, 2008

Cabinet Reshuffle Fails to Boost Japan PM Image

Reviewed by Takahiro MIYAO

Cabinet Reshuffle Fails to Boost Japan PM Image
Reuters (8/3/2008)


It is reported in the Reuter's article linked above that Mr. Yasuo Fukuda's effort to improve his image as prime minister by reshuffling his cabinet has failed, as various media polls have so far shown little or no improvement in his own popularity, although the new cabinet as a whole seems to be supported by more people than the one before the reshuffling. Mr. Fukuda's former rival Taro Aso's appointment as secretary general of the LDP was also appreciated by many respondents in those polls.

The Reuter article specifically refers to survey results in three major newspapers with Asahi showing support unchanged at 24 percent, Mainichi indicating a three point increase to 25 percent, and Yomiuri's approval rating jumping to 41 percent from 27 percent, but even in the Yomiuri poll, only 12 percent having an improved view of Mr. Fukuda as a result of the cabinet reshuffling. Other polls such as the one conducted by Nikkei Newspaper show some improvement in the cabinet approval rating, but that is not due to the appreciation of Mr. Fukuda as prime minister, but rather due to the sense of stability that the new cabinet members as a whole give to the general public.

These results could be fatal to Mr. Fukuda as leader of the ruling coalition, which will face general elections within a year or so, especially after he alienated those LDP members who are in favor of growth and reform of the Koizumi style by almost entirely excluding them from his cabinet this time. It may well be those growth-oriented reformists who would revolt and initiate a political reshuffling movement along with some of the opposition party members just before general elections. If that happens, Mr. Fukuda could not survive as prime minister, and most likely be succeeded by Mr. Taro Aso for the survival of the LDP.

This review is adopted from the following blog (with its Japanese translation):

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