• Kyodo

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Over 60 percent of people surveyed in Japan last month said the government was not handling the coronavirus outbreak well, a poll by Gallup International shows.

The 62 percent disapproval rating compares with 76 percent in Thailand who were critical of their government, 46 percent in the United States and 44 percent in Germany.

The poll by the Gallup International Association was conducted well before Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Tuesday declaration of a state of emergency in Tokyo, Osaka and five other prefectures.

Results from the 28-nation poll did not include the reasons why respondents were dissatisfied with their government’s response to the pneumonia-causing virus.

Of those surveyed in Japan, 23 percent said the government was handling the virus crisis well.

But China, where the novel coronavirus was first detected, was not covered in the poll, which was conducted over a two-week period through March 22.

In Japan, the survey period corresponded with a period when the infection rate was still relatively low. But cases of the virus, which causes the respiratory illness known as COVID-19, have since surged, prompting Abe to declare a state of emergency.

As of Saturday, more than 6,000 people in Japan had tested positive for COVID-19 and some 130 had died.

Globally, about 1.7 million cases and 100,000 deaths have been reported, according to Johns Hopkins University.

According to the poll, 32 percent of respondents in Japan were prepared to temporarily sacrifice some of their human rights if it would help curb the spread of the virus, while 48 percent were not.

That compares with 45 percent in the United States, 68 percent in Malaysia and 84 percent in France.

Some 52 percent of the respondents in Japan feared they or someone in their family would become infected with the virus, compared with 90 percent in Italy, 87 percent in South Korea and 78 percent in Britain.

The poll covered 28,502 people in 30 countries and regions who were surveyed on the internet between March 9 and March 22. No margin of error was given.

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