The new Cabinet was approved by 65% of voters in a poll by the Yomiuri, 53% in an Asahi survey and 56% in a sample conducted by the Mainichi.
Though the results are good news for the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) and Noda, whose predecessor Naoto Kan saw Cabinet support ratings drop down to the low teens in the dying days of his tenure, they may also offer little solace.
Noda’s two predecessors as DPJ prime ministers, Yukio Hatoyama and Naoto Kan, kicked off Cabinets even more popular, yet Hatoyama was out of office within a year of becoming prime minister in September 2009 and Kan lasted just 14 months before standing down in August. Hatoyama and Kan recorded low ratings in the teens when they left office despite having kicked up with support in the 60-70% range.
Switching prime ministers also gave the DPJ a boost in comparison with its largest opposition rival, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), with polls in all three newspapers giving it higher support rates, overturning the LDP’s lead in previous recent polls.