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81% have high hopes for coronavirus vaccine in Japan, up 9 points, Mainichi poll

TOKYO — Eighty-one percent of people across Japan polled by the Mainichi Shimbun and the Social Survey Research Center on Feb. 13 said they have high hopes for the coronavirus vaccine, while 19% said they do not.


Those who said they were optimistic about the vaccine increased by 9 percentage points compared to the 72% who gave the same answer in a previous poll conducted on Jan. 16. In the earlier poll 28% of respondents said they viewed the vaccine negatively.


However, only 39% of respondents said they “will get vaccinated immediately” if conditions are met, while 52% said they “will wait and see without rushing (to get inoculated).” Six percent said they “won’t get vaccinated,” while 3% said they “don’t know.” While there seem to be increasing hopes for the vaccine, many people are apparently cautious about getting inoculated themselves.


Asked whether they think that as more of the population in Japan gets vaccinated, people can return to their pre-pandemic lives, 39% of respondents said “yes,” while 60% said “no.”


The approval rate for the Cabinet of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga was 38% in the latest poll, increasing 5 percentage points from 33% in the previous survey. The disapproval rate was 51%, falling 6 percentage points from the 57% in the January poll. Though the Suga Cabinet’s approval rate had kept falling from the 64% it garnered when the administration was launched last September, it went up for the first time in the latest survey.


Asked how they evaluate the Suga administration’s coronavirus countermeasures, 23% of respondents said they approved of them, up 8 percentage points from the previous 15%. Meanwhile, 51% responded they disapproved, falling from the 66% in the January survey. Twenty-five percent said they had no opinion either way, a 7-point increase from the previous poll.


Asked what they thought should happen to the state of emergency extended in Tokyo and nine other prefectures until March 7, 47% said it should continue until the set date, while 22% said it should be extended again.


Meanwhile, to a question asking about what they thought of Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games President Yoshiro Mori’s resignation over his sexist remarks, 69% responded “it’s only natural” that he stepped down, 21% said “he didn’t need to resign,” and 10% said they “don’t know.” Seventy-four percent of women and 66% of men said it was natural for Mori to resign, while 13% of women and 25% of men said he didn’t need to quit his position.


The poll was conducted through texts on mobile phones, as well as recorded questions asked through calls to landlines. There were 729 valid mobile phone responses and 313 valid landline responses.


(Japanese original by Nanae Ito, Political News Department)

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