Japan Cabinet's approval rating slips in latest poll

While the approval rating slipped slightly, the number of people who disapproved of the Cabinet's performance was unchanged. PHOTO: REUTERS

TOKYO (BLOOMBERG) - The approval rating for Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's Cabinet slipped slightly, while the number of people who disapproved of its performance was unchanged, according to the latest poll conducted by local newspaper Mainichi on Saturday (Jan 22).

The Cabinet's approval rating dipped to 52 per cent from 54 per cent on Dec 18, and the percentage of those who disapproved remained at 36 per cent, the paper reported.

When asked about the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant in Japan, 46 per cent of those surveyed said they were fearful but not as concerned about it as they were with the Delta strain, and 34 per cent of respondents said they were very fearful, according to Mainichi.

The poll comes as coronavirus cases surge to a record high across the country.

Tokyo recorded 11,227 infections on Saturday. The authorities have placed curbs on 13 prefectures, including Tokyo and its surrounding areas, from Friday to Feb 13. Shimane prefecture may also request that the national government include it in areas with restrictions, according to local broadcaster NHK.

Of those surveyed, 31 per cent said they approved of the administration's coronavirus measures, declining 15 percentage points from the previous poll, the paper reported. Those who did not approve of the government's actions rose 13 percentage points to 39 per cent, according to the Mainichi.

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