TOKYO: 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 per cent from 44.3 per cent 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 per cent that signifies a government may run into trouble carrying out its political agenda.
Those who did not support his government climbed to 40 per cent, 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 Jul 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 Sep 27 funeral, paid for solely by state funds, and how Kishida decided to hold it.