More in Japan Unhappy With Government’s Virus Response: Poll

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More Japanese people are discontent with the government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic now compared with a month ago as infections in the country increase, a poll showed.

About 60% of respondents said they weren’t happy with actions taken by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration to tackle the outbreak, according to the poll conducted on Saturday by the Mainichi newspaper and Social Survey Research Center. The previous survey done in June had about half of respondents expressing dissatisfaction.

The number of daily infections in Tokyo reached records for two consecutive days last week. On Sunday, Tokyo confirmed 188 new cases, NHK reported, citing an unidentified official, bringing the total of infections confirmed in the capital to 9,411 people.

More in Japan Unhappy With Government’s Virus Response: Poll

The approval rating for Abe’s Cabinet fell by 4 percentage points to 32%, while the disapproval rating rose to 60%, the poll showed.

About 67% said preventing infections should take priority over economic activities, while 15% said otherwise. Of those surveyed, 64% said the government should declare a localized state of emergency, while 20% said it should be nationwide, and 12% were against it in any form.

The majority of respondents cautioned against a government-led campaign to help the domestic tourism industry by offering discount vouchers. The campaign, which is scheduled to start July 22, came under fire on concern it could fuel the spread of infections across the nation. The government decided last week to exclude Tokyo from the program as the number of daily virus cases increased in the capital.

More in Japan Unhappy With Government’s Virus Response: Poll
  • 69% of respondents said the campaign should be suspended not just for Tokyo but for other parts of Japan
  • 19% said the government’s decision to exclude Tokyo and kick off the campaign as scheduled was reasonable
  • 6% said the government should include Tokyo in the campaign

A separate poll conducted from Friday through Sunday by Kyodo News showed that only 23.9% of the Japanese public thought next summer’s Tokyo Olympics should be held as planned, while 33.7% thought the games should be be canceled and 36.4% postponed. The Cabinet approval rating stood at 38.8% with about 59% expressing discontent with the government’s handling of the pandemic, according to the poll.

The poll by Mainichi was conducted using short messaging on mobile phones and fixed phones and had 1,053 valid responses, the newspaper said.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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