TOKYO -- The approval rating of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's cabinet surged to 60% in the latest Nikkei poll, reflecting favorable views among women and independent voters who liked Wednesday's lineup change.
Public support for the cabinet rose 11 percentage points from the previous survey conducted in late August, surpassing far above the 50% mark. The disapproval rating declined 10 points to 26%. The latest poll was conducted from Wednesday through Thursday.
The appointment of five female ministers, and the selection of a woman as the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's powerful policy chief appear to be the biggest reason for the boost in popularity, with 58% supporting the move.
Support for the government among women had been eroding, and the cabinet revamp appears to have reversed the trend, at least for now, with the approval rating among women soaring 16 points from the previous poll to 59%, edging closer to the 62% support shown by men, up 6 points.
The appointment of veteran lawmaker Sadakazu Tanigaki to the party's No. 2 position was also well received, with 46% backing the choice.
Some 40% said they are in favor of the new cabinet and LDP leadership, compared with the 22% who do not like the new teams.
Among those who like the new lineups, 37% cited the fact that they include many women, followed by the 16% who see stability and the 14% who thought Abe was able to fend off the demands of party factions.
As for reasons for disapproval, 25%, the most, said Abe picked many of his close allies for key posts. And 19% said the selections were not based on merit.
Support for the LDP also rose 7 points to 44%, while the percentage of independent voters decreased 8 points to 38%, with the former outstripping the latter for the first time since May.
Nikkei Research conducted the survey via random-digit dialing. Of 1,486 households with eligible voters, 945, or 63.6%, provided valid responses.