Yomiuri opinion poll: 78% approve of state of emergency extension  

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Few people are seen in the Ginza district, after the second state of emergency due to the novel coronavirus was declared, in Chuo Ward, Tokyo, on Jan. 17.

In a nationwide opinion poll conducted by The Yomiuri Shimbun from Friday to Sunday, 78% of respondents said they approve of the government’s decision to extend the state of emergency in Tokyo and three other prefectures for two weeks in response to the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The approval rating of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s Cabinet rose to 48%, up 9 points from 39% in the previous poll conducted between Feb. 5 and 7. The disapproval rate was 42%, improving from 44% in the previous poll.

This is the first time since the Dec. 26-27 poll that the approval rating has exceeded the disapproval rating. It is believed this reflects the fact that the number of novel coronavirus cases has decreased during the state of emergency.

The government’s response to the coronavirus crisis was also seen as favorable by 45% of respondents, up 11 points from 34% in the previous poll. The percentage of those who did not approve was 50%, compared with 57% in the previous poll.

However, 92% of respondents said they felt “greatly” (46%) or “somewhat” (46%) anxious that infections would spread again. The public’s sense of caution remains high.

Split on spectators at Games

When asked about the proposal of Seiko Hashimoto, president of the Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, to hold the Summer Games in a way that accepts spectators, 45% of respondents agreed and 48% disagreed.

In terms of gender, 50% of men agreed with welcoming spectators, while 45% disagreed. For women, 51% of respondents disagreed, while 41% agreed.

Among those who support the Cabinet, 55% approve and 41% disapprove. Among respondents who do not support the Cabinet, 37% approve and 58% disapprove.

The results are diametrically opposed, depending on whether one supports or disapproves of the Cabinet.

On the other hand, 77% of respondents were against accepting spectators from overseas, even if the Games are held with spectators, far exceeding the 18% who said they were in favor.