52% in Japan Oppose Penalties for Businesses Uncooperative with Coronavirus Measures, Poll Says

A Yomiuri Shimbun nationwide poll found that 52% of people disagreed with the idea of punishing restaurants and bars for refusing to comply with orders issued by prefectural governors under a state of emergency to shorten business hours or close their establishments. Thirty-eight percent supported the plan.

Even among voters in the 11 prefectures currently subject to the state of emergency, 51% opposed the idea, while 39% supported it. Many respondents believe such penalties are a step too far.

By age, the gap was narrow among those aged 60 or older, with 45% opposing the plan and 40% supporting it.

Regarding penalties for refusing hospitalization or complying with public health center investigations when infected with the coronavirus, 68% supported some form of punishment, while 27% opposed the plan. Many people seem to think harsh penalties are inevitable under the circumstances. There was little difference in poll results between respondents from the 11 prefectures under the state of emergency and those from other areas.