Public support for Kan''s Cabinet hits all-time low of 19.9 per

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Tokyo, Feb 13 (Kyodo) The support rating forJapanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan''s Cabinet has dropped to anall-time low of 19.9 per cent in a latest survey, down 12.3percentage points from the previous poll a month ago.

The last time the approval rate for any Cabinet has sunkbelow 20 per cent in a Kyodo News survey was just before Kan''spredecessor, Yukio Hatoyama, resigned last June, when the ratewas just 19.1 per cent.

The telephone survey conducted Friday and Saturday showedthe disapproval rating for the Cabinet accelerating to 63.4per cent from 53.9 per cent primarily due to what is seen aslack of leadership on the part of Kan, president of the rulingDemocratic Party of Japan.

On other issues, the poll found that 52.8 per cent ofrespondents want DPJ bigwig Ichiro Ozawa to resign as a Dietmember over a funds scandal, against 58.7 per cent in theprior survey.

It also showed that another 24.4 per cent are in favor ofOzawa''s departure from the DPJ, which he also once headed,compared with 22.4 per cent.

Ozawa, who has denied any wrongdoing, was indicted Jan.

31 by court-appointed lawyers acting on an inquest panel''sdecision last September to overturn an earlier decision byprosecutors not to charge the politician due to a lack ofevidence.

As for Kan''s call for bipartisan talks on tax and socialsecurity reforms, 79.8 per cent said opposition parties shouldagree to start such talks, far eclipsing 13.3 per cent whosaid they do not need to.

Furthermore, the survey found 20.9 percent supporting theDPJ, which swept to power in September 2009, down from 22.7percent in the preceding poll.

It compares with the support rating for the No. 1opposition Liberal Democratic Party at 23.7 per cent, a slightretreat from 24.1 percent.

The telephone survey covered 1,445 randomly selectedhouseholds with eligible voters and valid responses werereceived from 1,013 individuals. (Kyodo)

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