Japan’s new prime minister Yoshihiko Noda and his cabinet today won solid backing in opinion polls, with respondents expressing confidence in his ability to lead the post-quake recovery.
Noda on Friday unveiled a youthful cabinet lacking the usual political heavyweights, after he became Japan’s sixth new leader in five years, charged with uniting a divided party and guiding reconstruction.
The Nikkei business daily said its survey showed 67 percent approval for Noda’s cabinet — a significant recovery from the dismal 19 percent rating his unpopular predecessor Naoto Kan recorded in late July.
Respondents said Noda was “reliable” and had a “clean” image, and “offers a sense of stability” as the nation recovers from the March 11 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis, the Nikkei said.
The survey of more than 1,400 households also showed 63 percent support for temporary tax hikes that Noda, known as a fiscal hawk, is considering to finance reconstruction of the northeast region ravaged by the tsunami.
Kan resigned last month under fierce criticism of his administration’s handling of the earthquake aftermath, including a crisis at the Fukushima nuclear power plant which leaked radiatoin into the air, soil and sea.