London, May 8 (Jiji Press)–Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and other leaders in Japan suffered the lowest domestic support for their response to the novel coronavirus pandemic, a survey covering 23 nations and regions has shown.
The number of coronavirus infections and the death toll in Japan are not necessarily high in world terms. But the ways leaders in the country dealt with the virus crisis were rated the poorest by citizens in all four fields–politics, business, community and media. The overall score, at 16, was the worst, as well.
The online survey, released Wednesday, was jointly conducted by Singapore’s Blackbox Research and France’s Toluna between April 3 and 19, covering 12,592 people.
The findings included the extremely low support rating of 5 pct for Japanese political leaders’ response. The figure compares with 86 pct for China, where the pandemic started, and 32 pct for the United States, now the hardest-hit region in the world. Even second worst-ranked Hong Kong gained 11 pct. The 23-area average came to 40 pct.
Japan’s low ratings are “in line with ongoing criticism” of the Abe government’s handling of the pandemic, “such as a perceived delay in declaring a state of emergency,” Blackbox Research Chief Executive Officer David Black said, adding that Abe arguably failed to pass “the COVID-19 leadership stress test.”
The survey also found that China enjoyed the highest overall leadership score, at 85, while advanced countries other than New Zealand fared poorly on the whole, with France ranking second from last, at 26.