A total of 85.8 percent of respondents support Japan's sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, a Kyodo News survey showed Sunday, suggesting the public favors Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's firm stance against Moscow.

In the two-day telephone survey through Sunday, 91.2 percent backed the Japanese government's decision to accept evacuees from the war-hit Eastern European country.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida speaks to reporters after meeting with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi in New Delhi on March 19, 2022. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

Meanwhile, 75.2 percent expressed concern that Russia's aggression in Ukraine may propel China to attempt to forcibly seize Taiwan and the Senkaku Islands, a group of East China Sea islets controlled by Tokyo but claimed by Beijing.

The approval rating for the Kishida Cabinet rose 3.5 percentage points from the February poll to 60.1 percent, while the disapproval rating decreased 5.5 points to 21.9 percent, according to the survey.

The support for his government's handling of the coronavirus pandemic increased 6.3 points to 60.4 percent.

Asked about the recent decision to fully lift the COVID-19 quasi-state of emergency in Japan, 53.3 percent found it appropriate, 32.3 percent said it was too early and 11.3 percent felt it was too late.

Regarding a proposal by the government and the ruling coalition to provide 5,000 yen ($42) to each pensioner as part of COVID-19 support measures, 66.0 percent did not find it appropriate.

As for Japan's relations with South Korea, 72.2 percent think bilateral ties will not change under President-elect Yoon Suk Yeol even though he has expressed a willingness to improve soured relations with the neighboring country.

Only 18.9 percent expect bilateral ties to improve, while 3.8 percent think otherwise.

Yoon, of the main conservative opposition People Power Party, will take office in May after being elected South Korea's new president earlier this month.

Tokyo-Seoul relations have soured over wartime labor compensation and other issues stemming from Japan's 1910-1945 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula.

As for this summer's election for the House of Councillors, the upper chamber of parliament, 42.1 percent said they will cast their proportional representation votes for the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, led by Kishida.

It was followed by 13.3 percent for the opposition Japan Innovation Party, 9.5 percent for the largest opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan and 3.8 percent for Komeito, the junior coalition partner of the LDP.

The survey, reaching 646 randomly selected households with eligible voters and 1,814 mobile phone numbers, yielded responses from 524 and 529 people, respectively.

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