The approval rating for Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga's Cabinet has fallen to 35.9%, the lowest level since he took office last year, a Kyodo News poll showed Sunday, adding to signs of public discontent with the government's determination to hold the Tokyo Olympics despite the coronavirus pandemic.
The disapproval rating rose to 49.8%, the highest on record for the Suga administration, which launched in September. With the Summer Games opening next Friday, more than 30% still believe the event should be canceled.
In the previous survey conducted last month, the support rate stood at 44.0%, while 42.2% disapproved of the Cabinet.
In the two-day survey from Saturday, 87% of respondents expressed some degree of concern about Tokyo hosting the Olympics and Paralympics amid the pandemic, while 67.9% doubted the effectiveness of the latest coronavirus state of emergency in the capital.
Following the retraction of a government plan to request lenders and liquor wholesalers help enforce a ban on restaurants serving alcohol during the state of emergency, 72.3% said Suga was responsible for the confusion caused, while 26.1% said Yasutoshi Nishimura, the minister in charge of the coronavirus response, who suggested the plan, should step down.
With the government slowing down COVID-19 inoculations as vaccine supply is expected to remain limited in the coming months, 58.5% said they were dissatisfied with the rollout.
On the government's coronavirus measures in general, 64.2% said they do not support them, while 33.9% said they do.
Regarding the decision of the government and organizers to hold Olympic events without spectators at most venues to prevent coronavirus infections, 43.6% said it was appropriate, while 23.6% said small audiences should be allowed.
As public concern remains high that the games could become a superspreader event due to the highly contagious delta variant of the coronavirus, 31.2% said the Olympics should be canceled.
The survey, covering 654 randomly selected households with eligible voters and 1,382 mobile phone numbers, yielded responses from 538 and 527 people, respectively.
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