Monday’s Nikkei front-paged the results of its latest public opinion survey that put support for Prime Minister Suga at 42%, down 16 points from a month ago, and nonsupport at 48%, up 16 points. Cabinet disapproval exceeded approval for the first time. The daily attributed the plunge in Suga’s popularity to the public’s disapproval of the administration’s response to the coronavirus resurgence, which increased 11 points to 59%. Pointing out that more than seven out of ten voiced dissatisfaction with the scandals engulfing former Prime Minister Abe and former Agriculture Minister Yoshikawa, the paper speculated that these scandals also probably undermined public confidence in the Suga cabinet. Almost half of the prime minister’s critics said they do not support him on account of a perceived lack of leadership. Some 48% called for a swift declaration of a state of emergency to prevent the further spread of the COVID-19, up 11 points, while 44% said the GOJ should be cautious about issuing it, down 13 points.
Yomiuri’s opinion survey pointed to a similar trend, with cabinet support standing at 45%, down 16 points from three weeks ago, and nonsupport at 43%, up 16 points. The daily said approval dropped sharply by 29 points in only three months after the inauguration of the cabinet in September. Almost four out of five said PM Suga has failed to exercise leadership in dealing with the COVID-19 resurgence. About 66% called for the GOJ to declare a state of emergency.