Japan PM Suga's approval sinks further on Covid-19 pandemic response

Support for Suga's Cabinet fell to 39 per cent from 45 per cent last month.
Support for Suga's Cabinet fell to 39 per cent from 45 per cent last month.PHOTO: REUTERS

TOKYO (REUTERS) - Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga's approval rating has slid further due to the public's dissatisfaction with his handling of the Covid-19 pandemic with about half of people in Japan now disapproving of his government, a Yomiuri newspaper poll showed on Monday (Jan 18).

Support for Suga's Cabinet fell to 39 per cent from 45 per cent last month, with the disapproval rating rising 6 points to 49 per cent, the poll showed.

Critics say Suga acted too slowly after coronavirus cases began surging late last year with his decisions to pause a domestic tourism campaign and declare a state of emergency for Tokyo and major cities coming too late.

The Yomiuri poll showed 78 per cent of the public in favour of expanding the state of emergency beyond the current 11 prefectures, of which 42 per cent say it should be declared for the entire country.