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Suga Cabinet support rate drops 14 points to 42%, NHK public opinion poll

According to the December NHK opinion poll, the approval rate for Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s Cabinet dropped to 42%, down 14 percentage points from last month. The disapproval rate rose to 36%, up 17 points.


NHK conducted a nationwide survey over the three-day period of Dec. 11–13, 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 1,249 of the 2,164 people polled. The valid response rate was 58%.


Asked why they support the Cabinet, 36% said “because it is a better alternative to other possible Cabinets,” 21% said “because Suga is trustworthy,” and 16% said “because it is the Cabinet of parties I support.”


Asked why they disapprove of the Cabinet, 38% said “because I am not hopeful about the Cabinet’s policies,” while 29% said “because the Cabinet cannot get things done,” and 17% said “because Suga is untrustworthy.”


Asked how worried they are that they or a member of their family will contract the novel coronavirus, 40% of respondents said they are “very worried,” 45% said they are “somewhat worried,” while 10% said that they are “not very worried” and 2% said they are “not worried at all.”


When asked for their views on the government’s handling of the novel coronavirus so far, 4% said they “rate it highly,” while 37% said they “have a somewhat positive view of it.” Meanwhile, 40% said they “do not rate it highly,” and 16% said they “do not have a positive view of it at all.”


The government plans to extend the Go To Travel campaign, Suga’s policy to stimulate tourism demand. Asked whether the program should be continued as it stands or should be temporarily suspended, 12% said that “it should be continued” while 79% said “it should be suspended for a time” and 9% either said they do not know or did not answer the question.


Once the government approves coronavirus vaccines, people will be able to be vaccinated for free. Asked whether they want to be vaccinated, 50% said they do, while 36% said they do not. The remaining 14% either said they do not know or did not answer the question.


The poll also probed people’s views on whether the government should declare a state of emergency. A total of 57% of respondents said yes while 30% said such a move is not necessary. The remaining 13% either said they do not know or did not answer the question.


Asked if their household income has changed due to the coronavirus, 24% said they have experienced a drop in income while 71% said their income has not changed and 2% said that their household income has risen.


Asked whether they will return to their hometowns or travel during the year-end and New Year’s holidays, 5% said they will while 81% said that they will not and 11% said they have not decided yet.


Some 12% said that they plan to visit a temple or shrine during the first three days of the year. Meanwhile, 32% said that they plan to make a visit at a time other than the first three days of the year, and 51% said that they do not plan to go to a temple or shrine.

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