Today the hardcopy Yomiuri printed more results from its 15-16 March poll*. What might be of interest to you: the response to the following question:
Who among the current Diet members do you think is most appropriate as the next Prime Minister? Name just one from the following. (The names are given in Japanese alphabetical order.)
For your convenience, I’ve rearranged the results in order of popularity.
1. nobody 24.9%, 2. Tarō Asō (LDP) 21.7%, 3. Junichirō Koizumi (LDP) 16.1%, 4. no answer 9.5%, 5. Ichirō Ozawa (DPJ) 5.3%, 6. Yasuo Fukuda (LDP) 4.0%, 7. Naoto Kan (DPJ) 3.4%, 8. Yōichi Masuzoe (LDP) 3.2%, 9. Katsuya Okada (DPJ) 2.1%, 10. Nobuteru Ishihara (LDP) 1.8%, 11. Sadakazu Tanigaki (LDP) 1.7%, 12. Yuriko Koike (LDP) 1.3%, 13. Shinzō Abe (LDP) 1.2%, 14. Yukio Hatoyama (DPJ) and Nobutaka Machimura (LDP) tied at 0.9%, 16. Seiji Maehara (DPJ) 0.8%, 17. others and Akihiro Ōta (New Kōmeitō) tied at 0.5%, 19. Kaoru Yosano (LDP) and Shōichi Nakagawa (LDP) tied at 0.3%, 21. Fukushirō Nukaga (LDP) 0.2%.
(correction: I found a couple of errors that I have corrected, most importantly the omission of Health, Welfare and Labor Minister Masuzoe, who incidentally has a whopping 51.4% positive evaluation from responders as a Fukuda Cabinet member. Defense Minister Ishiba is a distant third at 13.5%. “No one/no answer” places second with a respectable 35.8%.)
Nobody leads Mr. Asō by a comfortable margin. You also have the feeling that if it were up to the public, Mr. Koizumi could walk in any time and claim the prize for own. As for the DPJ, Mr. Ozawa fares better than Mr. Fukuda, but overall, he is only part of the problem in a DPJ leadership that cannot capitalize on the continuing errors and omissions under the Fukuda administration and the public’s growing dissatisfaction. The finger-in-the-wind decision-making under reclusive Mr. Ozawa is taking its toll. The only thing that can save the DPJ is a… an Asahi poll?
* 1,786 people out of 3,000 randomly chosen eligible voters responded to the poll by face-to-face interview. A brief online report can be found here.