TOKYO — More than half of the Japanese public is dissatisfied with the government’s response to the coronavirus outbreak, a Kyodo News survey showed Sunday, apparently reflecting frustration over prolonged requests for people to stay at home and businesses to shut.
While 57.5 percent of respondents expressed discontent with steps taken so far by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government, 34.1 percent approved, according to the telephone survey conducted for three days from Friday. As economic activity has stalled nationwide over the pandemic, 84.4 percent said they feel insecure about their life.
The approval rate for Abe’s Cabinet stood at 41.7 percent, up 1.3 points from the previous survey in mid-April, with 43.0 percent disapproval.
After Abe last week extended the state of emergency declaration for another month through the end of May to contain the virus, 67.3 percent said it was an appropriate decision. But 13.8 percent said the extension was too long, while 10.8 percent saw it as too short. And 2.6 percent said the government should not have extended it.
To financially support households, the government has offered 100,000 yen ($937) in cash handout per resident. But as the emergency declaration has been extended, 60.8 percent called on the government to provide more support.
As most schools have remained shut due to concerns over the virus, 33.3 percent were in favor of the proposal to shift the start of Japan’s academic year to September from April. While 19.5 percent opposed the possible reform, 46.3 percent were undecided.
Participants in the survey were selected through random digit dialing, known as RDD, in which telephone numbers are generated at random by a computer.
Of the 736 households with eligible voters dialed, 514 responded, while 515 of the 1,186 mobile numbers contacted gave responses.