Japan PM's support tumbles as anger over state funeral grows

Links to the Unification Church have become a growing headache for Kishida since July 8, when Abe was killed by a suspect who blamed him for supporting the church

Reuters
Published : 16 Sept 2022, 02:56 AM
Updated : 16 Sept 2022, 02:56 AM

Support for Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida tumbled to its lowest level since he took office, hit by growing anger over a state funeral for slain former leader Shinzo Abe and his ruling party's ties to a controversial church, an opinion poll showed.

Kishida's support fell to 32.3% from 42.3% a month before, according to the survey by Jiji news agency conducted at the weekend - approaching what is widely seen as a "danger level" of 30% that signifies a government may run into trouble carrying out its political agenda.

Those who did not support his government climbed to 40%, a rise of 11.5 points, Jiji added.

Links to the Unification Church, founded in South Korea in the 1950s, have become a growing headache for Kishida since July 8, when Abe was killed by a suspect who blamed him for supporting the church, which he said had bankrupted his mother.

Revelations following Abe's assassination of ties between the ruling party and the church, which has faced criticism over the years, have fed into anger about the cost of the Sept 27 funeral, paid for solely by state funds, and how Kishida decided to hold it.

Kishida defended his decision in parliament last week, the same day his ruling party announced the results of its investigation into party ties to the church, but the poll found that 62.7% of respondents did not approve of his handling of the church matter, while 51.9% were against the state funeral.

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Editor-in-Chief and Publisher