Asked whether he would consider stepping down as minister, Yamagiwa said he would take responsibility by staying on as minister and carrying out the administration’s economic stimulus measures.
“This is the work I need to fulfill,” he added.
Amid increasing public scrutiny into the party’s relationship with the church, the cabinet’s approval rating has plunged to around 30 per cent in recent polls compared with a peak of around 60 per cent earlier this year. The low ratings are close to what political analysts see as a danger level beyond which Japanese prime ministers may find it difficult to carry out their agenda.
A survey conducted by Jiji news agency last week found nearly two-thirds of respondents disapproved of Kishida’s handling of the church matter.