Support for Japan’s PM Abe Plunges on Controversial Bill

The normally popular premier takes a ten-point tumble

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Junji Kurokawa / AP Photo

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivers his policy speech during a plenary session of parliament at the lower house in Tokyo, Tuesday, Oct. 15 2013.

Public approval of Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has dropped sharply ever since he championed a controversial bill on state secrets.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Abe’s normally high approval ratings, hovering around 60% during his first year in office, took a sharp and sudden 10-point dive according to a poll published on Monday. The results come on the heels of Abe’s push for legislation that would expand the government’s ability to define and regulate state secrets.

The bruising parliamentary battle stalled Abe’s ambitious agenda for economic reforms. He promised to continue to push for the bill on Monday, while saying that he would “sincerely and humbly accept the people’s harsh criticism,” according to the Journal.