[TOKYO] Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's approval rating fell in a public opinion poll published on Monday amid speculation the government is considering calling a snap election.
National broadcaster NHK surveyed 1,527 people and found support for Mr Abe's government had fallen 8 per centage points from last month to 44 per cent, the lowest since Mr Abe's government began two years ago.
Of those surveyed, 38 per cent said they disapproved of Mr Abe, up 4 percentage points from last month.
Mr Abe's popularity has been sliding since two members of his cabinet resigned last month over political scandals.
Mr Abe also has to decide before the end of the year whether to raise the sales tax next year and some media are reporting that he could delay this plan and call an election.
Of those surveyed, 76 per cent said they saw no need for an election, while 74 per cent said next year's sales tax increase to 10 per cent from 8 per cent should be delayed or scrapped altogether.
When asked which policies the government should focus most of its energy on, 25 per cent said economic stimulus, 24 per cent said reform of the welfare system and 12 per cent said nuclear energy policy.