Japan PM lags in polls despite Cabinet reshuffle

By the Associated Press | January 14, 2012 | 11:36 PM EST

TOKYO (AP) — Newspaper polls show Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's Cabinet reshuffle has failed to lift public support.

Polls published Sunday showed support for Noda and his new Cabinet was flat to slightly down from before Friday's reshuffle.

The approval rating in the Nikkei business daily poll was 37 percent, up one-tenth a percentage point from December, with disapproval unchanged. The Yomiuri and the Asahi said approvals dipped — 5 points to 37 percent and 2 points to 29 percent respectively.

Noda's numbers have declined since he took office in September.

The majority of respondents opposed his tax hike plan.

Each poll telephoned about 1,000 eligible voters Jan. 13-14. Polls that size would have a 5 percentage point margin of error.