The support rating for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s cabinet fell from the previous month to 54.8% in a two-day nationwide poll conducted through Sunday by Kyodo News, with nearly 70% of respondents opposed to a law to allow casino gambling in Japan.
The cabinet approval rating dropped from 60.7% in November, while the disapproval rating rose 3.7 percentage points to 34.1%.
The survey also showed over half of respondents had a negative assessment of the outcome of a recent Japan-Russia summit.
Regarding the legalization of casinos, which Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party forced through with limited Diet deliberations, 69.6% were opposed while 24.6% expressed support.
Abe’s cabinet presented casino gambling in the country as a way to boost economic growth by attracting foreign tourists, but most of the opposition parties as well as members of the LDP’s junior coalition partner Komeito argued casinos could worsen problem gambling and compromise public safety.
The new law paves the way for building “integrated resorts” that include hotels and entertainment facilities with casino gambling.
Asked about such facilities being built near respondents’ residences, 75.3% said it would not be desirable while 21.9% would not object to their construction.
In the survey, 54.3% of respondents viewed negatively the outcome of bilateral talks between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin over territorial and economic issues held Thursday and Friday in Japan. The summit was viewed positively by 38.7%.
During the two-day summit meetings, Abe and Putin failed to narrow differences over a decades-old territorial dispute related to Russian-held islands off Hokkaido that are claimed by Japan, which has prevented the two countries from concluding a postwar peace treaty.