Not to be outdone by the presidential candidate contest in the US, or simply feeling a need to imitate US media, some Japanese newspapers seem to writing lots about popularity contests between Fukuda and Ozawa.
For example, according to the Yomiuri, the Prime Minister and his rival, Democratic Party of Japan leader, Ichiro Ozawa “share the same amount of support for their handling of recent political issues…. Both politicians had an approval rating of 37 % in the survey, in which 1,837 of the targeted 3,000 voters nationwide provided valid answers in face-to-face interviews.” One wonders how the 3,000 voters were “targeted”….
In fact, according to reports based on general likability rather than recent performance, Fukuda’s popularity rating has been going down and down—his approval rating falling to a paltry 19% according to a poll in the Asahi Shimbun. Meanwhile, Ozawa has been doing rather well with a recent poll by the Mainichi voting him more suitable than Fukuda for the top job. Mind you, it was 18% versus 14% with the vast majority expressing dissatisfaction with both.
No matter how much reporters might try to create an exciting match between the two political leaders, the reality that Fukuda is on his last legs will surely settle in soon, probably as soon as the G8 summit is over. Either the LDP will find a worthy competitor or we could be witnessing the start of real shift in power.
Bets on Fukuda’s successor start now.
Other posts by Anna: