August 10 (UPI) – The majority of Japanese people who responded to a recent poll said they don’t want Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga to be re-elected as COVID-19 cases rise after the Tokyo Olympics.
A poll by local newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun published on Tuesday found that Suga’s approval rating was 35%, the lowest level since he took office last year.
But the number was higher than the 28% approval rating reported in an Asahi Shimbun poll over the weekend.
About 66% of respondents to the Yomiuri poll said they don’t want Suga to remain prime minister after his term as president of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party ends on September 30th.
Japan is also expected to hold its 49th general election to the House of Representatives on or before October 22nd.
Suga’s popularity has declined as the slow adoption of vaccines and the surge in COVID-19 cases sparked backlash, according to Asahi Shimbun.
The Tokyo Olympics generated mixed public reactions. The Asahi poll found that 56% of respondents rated the games positively and 32% thought it was a bad idea. Japan won a record number of medals during the Games.
But while Japan celebrated medal wins, coronavirus cases have also increased. The prime minister has loudly denied any link between the Olympics and the rise in cases Kyodo news.
“Ultimately, the Olympics are having a negative impact on Mr. Suga,” said Kyodo Iwao Osaka, associate professor of political communication at Komazawa University.
“The fact that the number of novel coronavirus cases skyrocketed during the Olympic Games is a political failure for his government, as he had imagined keeping the Games with the virus under control with vaccines and going to the polls, but also with regard to crisis management. ”