Public Opinion Watch

Public Support for Kishida Remains Stagnant in May 2024


Eight key Japanese media organizations carried out public opinion polls in May. Support for the administration of Prime Minister Kishida Fumio remains low, below 30% on average.

Low Approval Ratings Remain the Norm

In May 2024 Japan’s leading media organizations—the broadcaster NHK, the wire services Jiji Press and Kyōdō News, and the five national newspapers—carried out public opinion surveys to gauge support for Prime Minister Kishida Fumio’s government. Compared with the results from these monthly surveys in April, six saw support levels rise slightly, with two dropping in May. The Jiji Press survey (see chart below), while turning out the lowest approval rating of all eight surveys, nonetheless recorded the largest climb, with a 2.1-point increase in respondents indicating support for the administration, up from its all-time low marked for the Kishida cabinet in April.

Poll performance was mixed across the board for the administration, with NHK and the Yomiuri Shimbun seeing slight climbs, while the Asahi Shimbun and Mainichi Shimbun both recorded 2-point drops in support for Kishida.

Disapproval ratings for Kishida and his government remain high, ranging from 55% (NHK) to 74% (Mainichi Shimbun). One survey saw the disapproval rating climb, with two remaining level and five dropping slightly. The Jiji Press poll has marked disapproval numbers above 50% for seven consecutive months.

Public Support for the Administration (May 2024)


NHK 24% (+1)
Jiji Press 18.7% (+2.1)
Kyōdō News 24.2% (+0.4)
Yomiuri Shimbun 26% (+1)
Asahi Shimbun 24% (–2)
Mainichi Shimbun 20% (–2)
Sankei Shimbun 27.7% (+0.8)
Nikkei 28% (+2)


NHK 55% (–3)
Jiji Press 55.6% (–3.8)
Kyōdō News 62.6% (+0.5)
Yomiuri Shimbun 63% (–3)
Asahi Shimbun 62% (±0)
Mainichi Shimbun 74% (±0)
Sankei Shimbun 66.9% (–0.8)
Nikkei 67% (–2)

Notes: Numbers in parentheses indicate point changes from the previous month’s results. Questions asked to respondents and methodologies differ for each organization; Jiji uses individual interviews, Mainichi uses texts sent to mobile phones and automated response queries sent to fixed phones, and the other companies use randomized calls to mobile and fixed phone numbers. NHK and the news agencies carried out their surveys around May 10–13, Nikkei on May 24–26, and the remaining newspapers around May 17–19.

Political Ethics Issues Dragging Numbers Down?

During May, the Diet saw debate heat up on revisions to the Political Funds Control Act proposed in response to factions in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party failing to report money collected at fundraising parties and distributed to their members. Questions in each poll drew responses sharply critical of the LDP’s stance on legal revisions in the wake of this scandal.

Approval/Disapproval for the Administration

In the Shizuoka Prefecture gubernatorial election held on May 26, the opposition-backed Suzuki Yasutomo defeated Ōmura Shin’ichi, a former deputy governor backed by the LDP. This was a painful blow for Kishida’s party, coming in the wake of its loss of three House of Representatives seats in by-elections in late April.

A major focus of the current ordinary session of the Diet is the passage of an amended Political Funds Control Act; the success or failure of this effort will likely sway the scheduled end of the session, currently set for June 23. The political calendar for the summer is a busy one, including the July 7 election for the governorship of Tokyo.

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo: Prime Minister Kishida Fumio answers questions in an upper house budgetary meeting on May 22 in the National Diet. © Jiji.)

opinion poll Kishida Fumio