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41% in favor of September start for school year, 37% opposed, NHK public opinion poll

  • May 19, 2020
  • , NHK digital , 6:30 a.m.
  • JMH Translation

The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare revised its criteria for consultations and testing for the novel coronavirus using a PCR test, changing the criteria from “if you have a temperature of 37.5 C or higher for four or more consecutive days” to “if you have such symptoms as difficulty breathing and a high temperature.”


The NHK public opinion poll for May asked respondents if they think that it will become easier to be tested thanks to this revision. A plurality of 50% said they think it will become easier and 37% said they will think it will not.


Asked for their views on changing the start of the school year to September in light of the prolongation of temporary school closures due to the novel coronavirus, 41% of pollees said they are in favor of the shift while 37% said they are opposed to the idea.


The government’s expert panel has said that people need to adopt “new lifestyle practices” to ensure that the virus does not spread again. The new practices include going out shopping in smaller groups, teleworking, and staggering commuting times. Asked if they are incorporating these new lifestyle practices, 70% said that they “have already adopted them,” 13% said that they “plan to adopt them,” and 10% said that they “do not intend to adopt them.”


NHK conducted a nationwide survey over the three-day period of May 15–17, 2020, on a computer-aided random digit dialing (RDD) basis and targeted men and women aged 18 or over with calls placed to landline and mobile phone numbers. Valid responses were received from 1,263 of the 2,075 people polled. The valid response rate was 61%.

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