Support rate for Abe cabinet falls over handling of COVID-19 outbreak

The approval rating for Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s cabinet dropped as public criticism is mounting over his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, a nationwide poll showed Sunday.

   According to the survey conducted by Kyodo News, the approval rating for Abe’s cabinet stood at 36.0 percent, down from 38.8 percent a month ago, while the disapproval rate rose to 49.1 percent, up from 48.5 percent in the previous survey.

   The two-day telephone survey from Saturday also showed that 58.4 percent have been discontent with the government’s handling of the pandemic.

   Meanwhile, 70.8 percent of respondents think Abe should convene an extraordinary parliamentary session as soon as possible, as requested by opposition parties to discuss measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

   On Monday, Abe will have served the longest uninterrupted period as the nation’s leader since former Prime Minister Eisaku Sato, who served as the nation’s leader for 2,798 consecutive days.

   As regards Abe’s long-running administration, 43.9 percent of respondents said it had more negative aspects than positive ones, while 49.6 percent answered the other way around.  

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