Over 60 percent of people surveyed in Japan last month said their government was not handling the coronavirus outbreak well, according to a poll by the Gallup International Association.
The 62 percent disapproval rating compares with 76 percent of people in Thailand saying their government’s handling of the crisis was poor, 46 percent in the United States and 44 percent in Germany.
The poll was conducted well before Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Tuesday declaration of a state of emergency over a surge in virus infections in Tokyo, Osaka and five other prefectures.
Results from the 28-nation poll did not include reasons why respondents were dissatisfied with their government’s response to the spread of the pneumonia-causing virus.
Of those surveyed in Japan, 23 percent said the government was handling the virus crisis well.
China, where the novel coronavirus was first detected, was not covered in the poll conducted over the two weeks through March 22.
In Japan, the survey period corresponded with a period in which there was still a relatively slow rate of infection with the virus that causes the COVID-19 respiratory illness. The number of cases has surged since, prompting Abe’s move to declare a state of emergency.
As of Saturday, more than 6,000 people in Japan have tested positive for COVID-19 with some 130 deaths, while about 1.7 million cases and 100,000 deaths have been reported globally, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.
According to the poll, 32 percent of respondents in Japan were prepared to sacrifice some of their human rights if it would aid in curbing the spread of the virus, while 48 percent would not.
The percentage of Japanese willing to give up some rights compares with 45 percent in the United States, 68 percent in Malaysia and 84 percent in France.
Some 52 percent of respondents in Japan feared they or someone in their family could become infected with the virus, lower than 90 percent in Italy, 87 percent in South Korea and 78 percent in Britain.