The support rate for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s cabinet rose 4.3 points in January from the previous month to 53.7%, a Kyodo News opinion poll showed Sunday.
The disapproval rate came in at 35.3%, down 2.9 points from the previous poll.
In the nationwide telephone survey conducted on Saturday and Sunday, 67.3% of the respondents said Akira Amari, who resigned as economy minister Thursday over a fund scandal, was right to step down from his post, while 28.5% said he did not need to quit.
Although 55.5% said Amari, one of the key architects of Abe’s economic strategy, does not need to leave the House of Representatives, 39.7% said he should do so.
Respondents were more narrowly split over whether the responsibility for having appointed Amari lies with Abe, with 46.8% agreeing and 50.1% disagreeing.
The poll also found 50.3% were opposed to going ahead with reforms to Japan’s pacifist Constitution following the upper house election scheduled this summer, while 37.5% were in favor.
Abe has been pushing for changes to the national defense posture defined by Article 9, which forbids Japan from using force to settle international disputes.
Asked about a government push to ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership and pass related bills before the end of the current Diet session, 69.2% of respondents said lawmakers should prioritize careful deliberation of the legislation even if it spills over into the following session.
The Pacific Rim trade pact planned for signing in New Zealand on Thursday involves 12 countries including Japan.