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Cabinet support rate drops tp 29%, lowest ever for Suga, NHK public opinion poll

According to the August NHK public opinion poll, the approval rating of the Suga Cabinet dropped 4 percentage points from last month to reach 29%, the lowest ever support rate for Suga since the inauguration of his administration in September 2020. Disapproval rose 6 points to reach 52%, the highest ever for the Prime Minister.


NHK conducted a nationwide survey over the three-day period of Aug. 7–9, 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 1,214 of the 2,115 people polled. The valid response rate was 57%.


Asked why they support the Cabinet, 44% said “because it is a better alternative to other possible Cabinets,” 23% said “because the Cabinet is led by the political party I support,” and 17% said “because Suga Yoshihide is trustworthy.”


Asked why they disapprove of the Cabinet, 37% said “because the Cabinet cannot get things done,” and another 37% 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, 43% of respondents said they are “very worried,” 42% said they are “somewhat worried,” while 10% 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, 3% said they “rate it highly,” while 32% said they “have a somewhat positive view of it.” Meanwhile, 40% said they “do not rate it very highly,” and 21% said they “do not have a positive view of it at all.”


The government has expanded the regions under the quasi-emergency measures and the state of emergency through the end of this month. Asked how effective they think this will be in preventing the spread of COVID-19, 3% said it will be “very effective” and 24% said it will be “somewhat effective.” By contrast, 49% said it will “not be very effective” and 20% said it will “not be effective at all.”


The government decided that all COVID-19 patients in Tokyo and other areas, except those with severe symptoms, will be asked to recuperate at home. It later said patients with somewhat severe symptoms will also be hospitalized in principle. Asked about the decision, 6% said they are “fully convinced,” and 37% said they “understand it to some extent,” while 35% said they are “not really convinced,” and 17% said they “cannot understand it at all.”


About the Tokyo Olympics that ended on Sunday, 26% of respondents said that it is “very good” that the Olympics were held in Tokyo, 36% said it was “quite good,” while 18% said it was “not very good” and 16% said that it was “not good” to have the Games in the capital. Asked if they think the Tokyo Olympics were held in a safe and secure manner, 31% said they were, while 57% said they were not.


Asked how spectators for the Paralympic Games, which start on Aug. 24, should be handled, 2% said “spectators should be allowed without a cap,” 15% said “limited numbers of spectators should be allowed.” Meanwhile, 60% said that they “should be held without spectators” and 18% said that they “should be canceled.”

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