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Japan PM Kishida's political dip opens door for bold policy moves

Without devoted base of followers, leader must take action to rebuild support

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has enjoyed a strong approval rating despite a relatively uneventful tenure -- until now. (Photo by Uichiro Kasai)

TOKYO -- Two months after the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's sweeping victory in Japan's upper house election, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is experiencing firsthand how quickly political fortunes can turn.

Kishida's cabinet approval rating fell 14 percentage points to 43% in the latest monthly Nikkei/TV Tokyo poll, largely over his plan to hold a state funeral for former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, as well as his handling of the controversy surrounding the Unification Church's ties to the LDP.

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