TOKYO • The disapproval rating for Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's administration exceeded the rating in favour of him, a survey by Kyodo news agency showed yesterday, underscoring the headwind Mr Abe faces as a new party challenges his ruling bloc in this month's elections.
About 1,030 candidates will run for the 465 seats. Mr Abe called for the elections, hoping to keep his Liberal Democratic Party-led coalition's majority in Parliament's Lower House, where it had a two-thirds majority before dissolution.
But his bet now looks increasingly shaky, given growing support for popular Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike's new Party Of Hope and the opposition Democratic Party's move to join hands with her party.
In the survey conducted on Sept 30 and Oct 1, 46.2 per cent of respondents said they did not support Mr Abe's administration, exceeding the 40.6 per cent who expressed support.
When asked whether they favoured Mr Abe or Ms Koike as the next prime minister, 45.9 per cent chose Mr Abe while 33 per cent picked Ms Koike.