THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
February 18, 2020 at 15:35 JST
The quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship is anchored at the Daikoku Futo pier at Yokohama Port on Feb. 17. In a recent survey, 45 percent disapprove of the government’s handling of the spread of the coronavirus aboard the ship. (Toshiyuki Hayashi)
More respondents to a new poll are critical of the government's response to the new coronavirus outbreak than approve, with 85 percent expressing concern that the epidemic will spread further in Japan.
In the survey conducted by The Asahi Shimbun, 50 percent disapproved of the government’s handling of the health crisis, while 34 percent approved it.
Among non-party affiliated voters, 55 percent disapproved of the government’s actions. Among ruling Liberal Democratic Party supporters, the disapproval rate was 39 percent.
The survey was conducted by phone on Feb. 15 and Feb. 16.
Regarding the Diamond Princess cruise ship that remains anchored off Yokohama Port due to the onboard spread of COVID-19, 45 percent said the government’s handling of the quarantine was “not appropriate.”
On the other hand, 39 percent deemed it “appropriate.”
Asked if they were concerned that the infection would spread further in Japan, 85 percent said they were “very concerned” or “somewhat concerned.”
Thirteen percent said they were “not concerned very much” or “not concerned at all.”
Asked if they were concerned that the spread of the infection would affect the Japanese economy, 87 percent said they were “very concerned” or “somewhat concerned.”
Twelve percent said they were “not concerned very much” or “not concerned at all.”
In other questions, the approval rate for the Cabinet was 39 percent, nearly the same as the 38 percent recorded in a previous poll conducted on Jan. 25 and Jan. 26.
The disapproval rate for the Cabinet was 40 percent, compared to the previous 41 percent.
Regarding a controversy over Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s hosting of cherry blossom viewing parties, 71 percent said they “were not satisfied” with Abe’s explanations offered at Diet sessions, while 12 percent said they “were satisfied.”
Among LDP supporters, 58 percent said they were not satisfied with Abe’s explanations.
Asked if they think another investigation is warranted into the guest lists for the cherry blossom viewing parties, which the government said were destroyed, 56 percent said it is “necessary.” Thirty-five percent said another investigation is not necessary.
Regarding integrated resort projects involving casinos being built in Japan, 56 percent said they would bring more negatives than positives, while 30 percent said they would bring more positives.
The survey was conducted among likely voters nationwide. Phone numbers were randomly created by computer. Survey staff called these numbers, both landline and mobile, over the two days.
For landlines, 2,172 households were deemed to have an eligible voter, out of which 1,118 people responded to the survey. The response rate was 51 percent.
For mobile phones, survey staff successfully contacted 2,311 likely voters. Out of these, 1,038 people, or 45 percent, responded to the survey.
The survey received a total of 2,156 effective responses.
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