60% approve of Kishida’s Cabinet, down slightly from November

The approval rating for the Cabinet of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida stands at 60%, down 0.5 point from November, a poll showed Sunday.

The survey came as the government has been struggling to prevent the spread of the omicron variant of the coronavirus while also working to revive the pandemic-hit economy with steps such as cash handouts to families, over which Kishida has been accused of reversing his position and causing confusion.

The disapproval rating for the Cabinet fell to 22.7% from 23%.

The two-day telephone poll through Sunday also showed 79.2% supported providing ¥100,000 in benefits to child-rearing households in the form of cash.

Kishida’s government had planned to initially give ¥50,000 in cash and the remainder in vouchers for each child age 18 or younger living in a household in which the top earner’s annual income is less than ¥9.6 million.

The government later decided to allow municipalities to provide the benefits in only cash. Opposition parties had argued that issuing vouchers would result in massive additional costs and add to the burden on local governments, which are currently preparing to administer booster vaccine doses for COVID-19.

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