Hatoyama support at more than 70 percent: poll

The approval rating for Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama's cabinet stands at 71 percent nearly three weeks after his government took power, a newspaper poll showed Monday.

But the survey by the best-selling Yomiuri daily also showed that a political donations scandal could present problems for the new premier, with voters not satisfied by Hatoyama's explanation of what happened.

The approval rating for the cabinet of Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, pictured, stands at 71 percent nearly three weeks after his government took power, a newspaper poll has shown

Hatoyama admitted in June to keeping sloppy accounts for his fund-raising body, which reported a donors' list including the names of dead people and those who had denied giving money.

He said his former accountant was solely responsible for the problem, in which a total of 21 million yen (220,000 dollars) had been recorded incorrectly since 2005.

But the Yomiuri poll reported 71 percent of respondents said they were not convinced by Hatoyama's explanation.

Tokyo prosecutors have started hearings with people on the donors' list, reports said at the weekend.

The survey of 1,116 voters also found the approval rating for the conservative Liberal Democratic Party, ousted by Hatoyama's Democratic Party of Japan in the August 30 election, had plunged to a record low of 17 percent.

On the controversial naval refuelling mission in support of the US-led military campaign in Afghanistan, 48 percent supported Hatoyama's plan to end it in January while 37 percent did not, the poll said.

source AFP

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