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Cabinet support rate at 33%, lowest ever for Suga, NHK public opinion poll

According to the July NHK public opinion poll, the approval rating of the Suga Cabinet dropped 4 percentage points from last month to reach 33%, the lowest ever support rate for Suga since the inauguration of his administration in September 2020. Disapproval rose 1 point to reach 46%, the highest ever for the Prime Minister.


NHK conducted a nationwide survey over the three-day period of July 9–11, 2021, 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 1,224 of the 2,090 people polled. The valid response rate was 59%.


Asked why they support the Cabinet, 41% said “because it is a better alternative to other possible Cabinets,” 23% said “because Suga Yoshihide is trustworthy,” and 22% said “because the Cabinet is led by the political party I support,”


Asked why they disapprove of the Cabinet, 40% said “because the Cabinet cannot get things done,” and another 36% said “because I am not hopeful about the Cabinet’s policies,” while 13% said “because Suga is untrustworthy.”


Asked how worried they are that they or a member of their family will contract the novel coronavirus, 34% of respondents said they are “very worried,” 45% said they are “somewhat worried,” while 15% said that they are “not very worried” and 3% 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 36% said they “have a somewhat positive view of it.” Meanwhile, 38% said they “do not rate it very highly,” and 19% said they “do not have a positive view of it at all.”


The government has issued a fourth coronavirus state of emergency for Tokyo. Asked how effective they think it will be, 6% said “very effective” and 33% said “somewhat effective.” By contrast, 41% said it will “not be very effective” and 15% said it will “not be effective at all.”


The respondents were also asked what they think of the decision to bar spectators from Olympic venues in Tokyo and three neighboring prefectures. In response, 39% said it was “appropriate,” while 22% said “limited numbers of spectators should be allowed.” Some 4% said “spectators should be allowed without a cap,” and 30% said the “Olympics itself should be canceled.”


The survey also asked respondents what they think of the explanations of the government and the organizing committee on the significance of holding the Tokyo Games and on the COVID countermeasures. Of the respondents, 3% said they were “very convinced,” and 28% said they were “somewhat convinced”. But 42% said they were “not very well convinced” and 23% were “not convinced at all.”


Asked about the government’s border measures to prevent the entry of the virus, including those for athletes arriving to take part in the Tokyo Games, 5% said they “rate them highly” and 33% said they have a “somewhat positive view.” But 36% “do not rate them very highly” and 21% do “not have any positive view at all.”


Asked if they plan to be inoculated against COVID, 32% said they “will be vaccinated,” while 5% said that they will not. Meanwhile, 13% said they are “unsure” and 46% said that they “have already been vaccinated.”

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