Japan’s PM Yoshihide Suga has begun to lose public support due to couldn’t handle the Covid-19 situation and taking controversial action.
He has faced this situation three months after taking charge. In the early days of the cabinet, more than 70 percent of the people supported him.
A survey conducted by Japan’s Kyodo News earlier this month found that support for PM Yoshihide Suga had fallen below 50 percent. It is not possible to say that the support rate has plummeted, but it does not reflect much confidence in him.
However, two more surveys conducted since then have begun to look like a warning to him. As a result, he has started to move away from some previous decisions.
According to a December 14 poll by Japan’s citizen broadcaster NHK, the new prime minister lost 14 percent of his support in one month. The support rate has now dropped to 42 percent. Two days earlier, support for the Sugar Cabinet had fallen by 17 percent to 40 percent in a survey by the Mainichi Shimbun.
As a result, the Prime Minister is a little worried. The implication of this concern is evident in the hasty steps taken to cancel a controversial travel program.
In Japan, from the end of the year to the beginning of the new year, many people travel in and out of the country during the continuous holidays. The government recently launched the ‘Go to Travel’ program to help the country’s tourism sector, which is facing a severe crisis due to the Covid-19.
The government has been bearing 50 percent of the travel expenses under this program. Besides, the government has also given the same concession to encourage citizens to go out and eat to revive the restaurant business.
However, in the face of the spread of Covid-19 infection, experts have been critical of the program from the beginning and have been reminding policymakers of its dangerous side. Nevertheless, the government continues on that controversial path.
Health experts now say the reason for the sudden rise in infections in the country is people taking advantage of low-cost travel as well as eating out at half the cost.
The largest area of Covid-19 infection in Japan is the capital of Tokyo. The city has seen a steady increase in new infections over the past few weeks. The number of new infections in the capital rose to 622 last Thursday.
The previous day’s record was 6 infections. The spread of the infection has not stopped in other major cities as well. As a result, the government has already announced the suspension of the ‘Go to Travel’ program.
Prime Minister Suga said in a statement on Tuesday that the ‘Go to Travel’ program would be suspended from December 26 to January 11. He advised people to spend their time alone at home.
However, many see this as a very late decision and question the effectiveness of this decision in preventing new infections.
According to them, Covid-19 has now spread across the country as people have flocked around for the opportunity to travel cheaply in the last few weeks and the only option to pull this mad horse of infection is to arrange a quick vaccine.
Although Japan pays in advance for vaccines, the West is monitoring the results of vaccination programs already underway. Japan will not bring the vaccine without being absolutely sure. As a result, Japan seems to be giving up a lot of luck.
On the one hand, the crisis in the economy, on the other hand, the gradual increase in the transmission of the coronavirus — there is confusion about what can be done to limit the damage on both sides by combining the two.