Support for Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama's government has sunk to 23.7 per cent, a poll by Jiji news agency showed on Friday, threatening his Democratic Party's chances of winning a mid-year election.
Voters have been disillusioned by financial scandals enveloping the party's No 2 executive Ichiro Ozawa and other Democrats, and by Hatoyama's perceived lack of leadership skills.
A poor showing in the election for Parliament's Upper House, expected in July or August, could result in a policy deadlock as the country struggles to nurture a fragile economic recovery and rein in its massive public debt.
Hatoyama's government boasted support rates of about 70 per cent when he took power after a landslide victory in the more powerful lower house of parliament last year.
But recent polls by television networks show support has been languishing just above or below 30 per cent.