• Coronavirus

Low Approval of Coronavirus Measures in Japan, U.S.

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
A hospital room for critically ill COVID-19 patients is seen in Kobe on Nov. 7.

The latest Yomiuri-Gallup Poll was conducted as the world faced worsening novel coronavirus infection numbers and deaths from COVID-19.

In Japan, the number of newly infected patients topped 2,000 a day, while in the United States, new cases kept rising at a daily pace of more than 100,000.

Asked if respondents approve or disapprove of their government’s handling of the coronavirus situation, 47% in Japan approve of it, against 46% who do not. Seemingly lying behind this split in views was that, although the number of newly infected patients soared, COVID-19 had been contained in Japan when compared to the situation in Europe and North America. At the time of the poll, there were also many people who viewed the government’s Go To Travel domestic travel support campaign positively.

By political party support in Japan, 64% of respondents who support the ruling parties approve of the government’s handling of the virus situation, while 65% of respondents who support opposition parties and 56% of those with no party affiliation said they disapprove of it.

In the United States, 61% of respondents said they disapprove of the U.S. government’s handling of the situation, while 37% of them said they approve its handling of COVID-19.

By U.S. political party support, responses were even more greatly split, with 81% of Republican supporters approving of the handling of the pandemic, while only 9% of Democratic supporters felt the same.

The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump has put in place a massive economic package worth about $3 trillion (about ¥320 trillion) to implement support measures for the unemployed and others hit hard by the novel coronavirus, but its stance of making light of measures to prevent or slow the spread of infections is seen to have affected the views of U.S. respondents.