Two months after he took office, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is facing his first crisis as the new omicron coronavirus variant stokes fear of a rebound in COVID-19 cases.

The prime minister initially appeared to have a firm grip on the situation — albeit with moves that faced criticism in some circles — quickly moving to ban the entry of foreign visitors as well the re-entry of foreign residents from omicron hot spots.

But if Kishida had gained any supporters for his quick and clear decision-making, that goodwill was lost in a hurry.