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Politics

Voters cool to Abenomics but still back ruling party

The Dec. 14 election is seen as a referendum on Abenomics.

TOKYO -- Japanese voters are not impressed with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's economic policy but still favor his ruling party over the opposition camp, according to the latest Nikkei opinion survey.

     Asked which party they will support in the Dec. 14 general election, 35% of respondents said they will vote for the Liberal Democratic Party or LDP candidates, followed by the 9% backing the opposition Democratic Party of Japan.

     The smaller Japan Innovation Party, Komeito and Japanese Communist Party each garnered 3% support, while the People's Life Party and the Social Democratic Party were each named by 1% of respondents.

     A large number of voters seem to still be up for grabs, with 45% saying they are undecided or do not know.

     Support for the Abe cabinet fell 4 percentage points from late October to 44%, hitting a record low since the prime minister took office in December 2012. Disapproval reached an all-time high of 39%.

     A majority of respondents, or 51%, supported Abe's decision to postpone the second consumption tax hike until April 2017, outnumbering the 36% who were naysayers.

     Only 16% said they have felt the impact of an economic recovery over the past two years, while an overwhelming 75% said they have not.

     Abenomics does not seem to be getting much traction, either, with 51% saying they do not approve of Abe's economic policy as opposed to the 33% endorsing his approach. Forty-four percent said they expect Abenomics to spur a recovery or wage hikes, while 49% said they have no such hopes.

     The survey was conducted via random-digit dialing from Friday to Sunday. Of 1,613 households with eligible voters, 1,031, or 63.9%, provided valid responses.

(Nikkei)

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