More in Japan discontented with government's coronavirus response: Poll

About 60 per cent of respondents said they weren't happy with actions taken by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's administration. PHOTO: AFP

TOKYO (BLOOMBERG) - More Japanese people are discontented 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 per cent 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 (July 18) by the Mainichi newspaper and Social Survey Research Centre.

The previous survey done in June had about half of respondents expressing dissatisfaction.

The approval rating for Mr Abe's Cabinet fell by 4 percentage points to 32 per cent, while the disapproval rating rose to 60 per cent, the poll showed.

About two-thirds of the respondents said preventing infections should take priority over economic activities, while only about one in six of them said otherwise.

Of those surveyed, 64 per cent said the government should declare a localised state of emergency, while 20 per cent said it should be nationwide, and 12 per cent 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 that could fuel the spread of infections across the nation.

The government decided last week to exclude Tokyo from the programme as the number of daily virus cases increased in the capital.

Of the respondents. 69 per cent said the campaign should be suspended not just for Tokyo but for other parts of Japan, while 19 per cent said the government's decision to exclude Tokyo and kick off the campaign as scheduled was reasonable, and 6 per cent said the government should include Tokyo in the campaign.

The number of daily infections in Tokyo reached records for two consecutive days last week.

Another 290 infections were confirmed Saturday, while 662 cases were reported nationwide, according to public broadcaster NHK.

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

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