Or so they tell me...now...
Abe's Honeymoon Ends as Criticism in Japan Mounts
Dec. 12 -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's honeymoon with the public seems to be ending.
After 11 weeks in office, popular support for Abe's administration dropped in polls by three national newspapers and NHK Television, with one survey showing a 21 percentage point decline since he took office in September.
The plunge is largely due to the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's decision to re-admit 11 lawmakers booted out by Abe's predecessor, Junichiro Koizumi, in September 2005. Koizumi expelled legislators who opposed his efforts to privatize the postal system, and then won a landslide election weeks later.
or, as it is also described here:
Japan PM suffers sharp fall in popularity
Published: December 12 2006 10:28 --The Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's popularity has plummeted in the past few weeks, according to polls published on Tuesday by leading Japanese media organisations.
The polls by the Yomiuri, Asahi and Mainichi newspapers, as well as the public broadcaster, NHK, taken over the weekend show a widespread loss of public faith in the government’s commitment to reform and mounting concerns over Mr Abe's lack of leadership and the direction of his government’s policies.
Now the precipitous plunge of Abe's popularity is not news in these parts; indeed, both Shisaku (here and here and here) and GlobalTalk21 (there and there) have been on the case since late November (to be fair, Nakamoto-san has been out of town for a long while).
So what is the meta-narrative, the grand scheme into which we shall shoehorn these facts? The Japanese public is fickle and easily bored? Abe is disdainful, inadroit and diffident? Japan is slumping again? The Economist is swamp of pretentious, smug and facile writing (wait a minute, how did this get in here?) straining toward the singular goal of bemusing the world to death?