Yomiuri opinion poll: 70% dissatisfied with delay in vaccinations

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Vaccination vouchers for people aged 65 and older are brought to a post office in Aoba Ward, Sendai, on March 31.

In a nationwide opinion poll conducted by The Yomiuri Shimbun, 70% of respondents said they felt “greatly” or “somewhat” dissatisfied with the delay in vaccinations against COVID-19 compared with other developed countries such as the United States.

Those who were greatly disappointed accounted for 32% of respondents, while somewhat disappointed accounted for 38%.

The approval rating of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s Cabinet was 47% in the poll, which was conducted from Friday to Sunday. This was essentially unchanged from the 48% recorded in the previous survey, conducted between March 5 and 7.

The disapproval rating was 40%, compared to 42% in the earlier survey. For the second consecutive month, the approval rating exceeded the disapproval rating, but the upward trend in the approval rating stopped.

Among respondents who were dissatisfied with the delay in vaccinations, the Cabinet approval rating was 42% and the disapproval rate was 46%.

Regarding the government’s response to the novel coronavirus, 35% of respondents said they approved, down 10 percentage points from 45% in the previous survey. Those who did not approve accounted for 59%, compared to 50% in the previous survey.

The number of newly confirmed infections nationwide had begun to increase around the time this survey was conducted. There is a continuing trend in which the number of infected people affects the approval rating and the assessment of the government’s countermeasures against the pandemic.

More than half of the respondents, or 51%, did not think that “priority measures to prevent the spread of the disease,” which were applied to the three prefectures of Osaka, Hyogo and Miyagi, will be effective in preventing the spread of the disease. In contrast, 40% thought they would help.

A total of 91% of respondents said they felt “greatly” (53%) or “somewhat” (38%) anxious about the possibility of coronavirus variants spreading in Japan. Only 10% of respondents planned to travel or return home during the Golden Week holidays in late April to early May, while 89% did not plan to do so.

Support for political parties was 39% for the Liberal Democratic Party, compared to 40% last time, and 5% for the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, compared to 6% previously. Those who did not support any political party accounted for 43%, compared to 42% in the last survey.