The Japanese public harbors concerns about the rapidly spreading use of AI chatbots, with 69.4% calling for stricter regulation on the development of artificial intelligence, a Kyodo News poll showed Sunday.

The result comes as countries have been discussing the need for international standards to prevent the misuse of emerging technologies such as ChatGPT, which have sparked fear of unauthorized collection of personal data.

The telephone survey, conducted from Saturday, also marked the approval rating for the Cabinet of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at 46.6%, up 8.5 points from the previous survey in mid-March. Its disapproval rating stood at 35.5%.

As Japan is set to downgrade the legal status of the coronavirus on May 8 to the same level as common infectious diseases such as seasonal influenza, 63.7% said they are worried about the possible resurgence of COVID-19 infections, against 36.3% dismissing such concerns.

Japan on Saturday also lifted its pandemic-induced border controls for all arrivals, drawing a line under its coronavirus border policy, which began in 2020.

The move came in anticipation of an increase in travelers during the annual Golden Week holiday that began the same day.

But despite the lifting of coronavirus restrictions, it appears many people have remained cautious about making a trip during long holidays, with 61.7% saying they have not traveled and do not have any plan.

Experts on such diseases have warned that the country could face a "ninth wave" of the pandemic even more severe than the previous one.

As for Kishida's government, 56.3% opposed the plan to raise social security premiums in order to help finance policy measures to fight the country's declining birthrates, with 38.8% approving the plan.

The survey called 510 randomly selected households with eligible voters on landline phones and 2,461 mobile phone numbers. It yielded responses from 426 households and 620 mobile phone users.