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  • Support for Suga’s cabinet drops in latest poll

Support for Suga’s cabinet drops in latest poll

Opposition lawmakers were also increasingly frustrated with Suga's taciturn leadership style, demanding he provide detailed answers to questions about the COVID-19 crisis and the Tokyo Olympics set to start in less than six months. (AFP)
Opposition lawmakers were also increasingly frustrated with Suga's taciturn leadership style, demanding he provide detailed answers to questions about the COVID-19 crisis and the Tokyo Olympics set to start in less than six months. (AFP)
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25 Jan 2021 01:01:17 GMT9
25 Jan 2021 01:01:17 GMT9
  • Some experts say tourism campaign aggravated COVID-19 spread
  • Data indicates coronavirus infections have peaked (Adds quotes, details on Suga criticism, COVID-19 infections)

TOKYO: Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga faced renewed pressure on Monday over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, with a new opinion poll showing many believed the government was too slow to respond to the latest wave of infections.

Opposition lawmakers were also increasingly frustrated with Suga’s taciturn leadership style, demanding he provide detailed answers to questions about the COVID-19 crisis and the Tokyo Olympics set to start in less than six months.

Suga is struggling to halt a steady decline in support for his four-month-old government even after launching a raft of measures to contain a third wave of coronavirus infections with the Olympics due to begin on July 23.

Support for Suga’s cabinet dropped to 33 percent from 39 percent last month, with disapproval rising 10 points to 45 percent, according to a poll published by the Asahi newspaper on Monday.

The poll conducted by telephone on the weekend showed 80 percent of respondents thought the government was too slow to declare a state of emergency in response to the coronavirus outbreak which has swept the country since December.

Critics also say Suga took too long to pause a domestic tourism campaign that some experts have blamed for contributing to the spread of the virus beyond the initial hotspots in the Tokyo region.

Yoshihito Niki, an infectious disease specialist and professor at Showa University Hospital, agreed the government should have halted the campaign earlier.

“It is clear that was problematic, not just because it may have contributed to rise in case numbers by people travelling around the country, but also by giving young people an impression that they could lower their guard,” he said.

The government says its decision to stick with the domestic tourism campaign was appropriate based on infection data at the time.

Reuters 

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