Noda’s Support Falls as LDP Calls for Japan Election Over Sales Tax Plan

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s proposal to double the country’s consumption tax by 2015 faces growing public skepticism as the main opposition party ramps up its call for elections over the issue.

Sixty percent of voters oppose the ruling Democratic Party of Japan’s plan to raise the 5 percent tax in two stages to 10 percent, a Mainichi newspaper poll today said. Noda’s approval rating fell to 32 percent from 38 percent last month and has dropped 24 percentage points since September, when he became Japan’s sixth leader in five years, the survey showed.

The decline in popularity follows the pattern of his five predecessors, all of whom took office with more than 50 percent approval only to see it plummet within a year. Noda is seeking to raise revenue to shore up the social welfare system amid discontent over a struggling economy, the world’s largest debt and the pace of recovery from last year’s earthquake and nuclear disaster.

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