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HOME  > Past issues  > 2014 January 15 - 21  > TV helps Abe out of crisis
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2014 January 15 - 21 [POLITICS]

TV helps Abe out of crisis

January 15, 2014
The approval rating of the Abe Cabinet has recovered since the beginning of this year. A series of PM Abe’s live appearances on TV during the year-change period seems to have played a role.

The cabinet support rate sharply dropped in December last year following the forcible enactment of the state secrets law and Abe’s visit to the war-glorifying Yasukuni Shrine. According to some polls, the rating plunged below 50% for the first time since the government was inaugurated in December 2012. This month, however, it went up to the level of 50%.

Abe appeared on an infotainment program of TBS on December 20, making up “excuses” for railroading through the secrecy bill for 30 minutes. Tazaki Shiro, a news commentator at Jiji Press, said to Abe in the program, “If you appear on TV more frequently, more people will come to support your policy.”

On the same day, interviewed by a news anchor on a business program of TV Tokyo, Abe trumpeted for 30 minutes the “positive effects” of his economic policy dubbed “Abenomics”. Nippon Television praised Abe on its variety program on December 30 as a great contributor to the successful bid to host the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The prime minister insisted on his own view on Yasukuni Shrine on January 8 in an exclusive interview with BS Fuji. Over the year-end and New Year period, NHK persistently claimed that Japan’s economy got back on a recovery track citing a stock market rally.

In December alone, Abe dined with Tazaki, NHK commentator Shimada Toshio, and Yomiuri Shimbun Chairman Watanabe Tsuneo.
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