The approval rating for Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga's Cabinet has fallen to 35.9 percent, the lowest level since he took office last year, a Kyodo News poll showed Sunday, adding to signs of public discontent with the government's determination to hold the Tokyo Olympics despite the coronavirus pandemic.
The disapproval rating rose to 49.8 percent, the highest on record for the Suga administration launched in September. With the Summer Games opening next Friday, more than 30 percent still believe the event should be canceled.
In the previous survey conducted last month, the support rate stood at 44.0 percent, while 42.2 percent disapproved of the Cabinet.
In the two-day survey from Saturday, 87.0 percent of respondents expressed some degree of concern about Tokyo hosting the Olympics and Paralympics amid the pandemic, while 67.9 percent doubted the effectiveness of the latest coronavirus state of emergency in the capital.
Following the retraction of a government plan to request lenders and liquor wholesalers to help enforce a ban on restaurants serving alcohol during the state of emergency, 72.3 percent said Suga was responsible for the confusion caused, while 26.1 percent said Yasutoshi Nishimura, the minister in charge of the coronavirus response, who suggested the plan, should step down.
With the government slowing down COVID-19 inoculations as vaccine supply is expected to remain limited in the coming months, 58.5 percent said they were dissatisfied with the rollout.
On the government's coronavirus measures in general, 64.2 percent said they do not support them, while 33.9 percent said they do.
Regarding the decision of the government and organizers to hold Olympic events without spectators at most venues to prevent coronavirus infections, 43.6 percent said it was appropriate, while 23.6 percent said small audiences should be allowed.
As public concern remains high that the games could become a superspreader event due to the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus, first detected in India, 31.2 percent said the Olympics should be canceled.
The survey, covering 654 randomly selected households with eligible voters and 1,382 mobile phone numbers, yielded responses from 538 and 527 people, respectively.