politics

Virus outbreaks, scandals sap public support for Suga

37 Comments
By MARI YAMAGUCHI

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.


37 Comments
Login to comment

Article should have mentioned his governments failure to get a vaccine approved and given to the front line workers and vulnerable. Way too slow as usual.

22 ( +25 / -3 )

Suga has suggested that a lack of cooperation from the public and businesses has driven the latest big wave of cases. 

And how could Taiwan manage to keep out infections and Japan not?

The people of Japan do not control the borders of Japan, the government does!

Blame the people of Japan?

Shameful!

18 ( +20 / -2 )

On Monday, the Nikkei financial newspaper said its latest survey found approval ratings for Suga’s government had sunk more than 30 points to 42% from 74% in late September.

It's even lower, around 36% in NHK's polls I believe. The Nikkei has a strongly conservative readership I think, and that skews the numbers in Suga's favor

The 48% of those questioned who disapproved mainly cited a lack of leadership

This is just "rinse-wash-repeat" for Japanese PM's going back to the one who followed Koizumi, oh right that was Abe!

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Japan’s overall handling of the pandemic has been praised by many

Example? I literally never read a single praise for Japan from any non-Japanese news source.

6 ( +13 / -7 )

Koizumi and Abe had charisma in their own regards and that reflects their reflective longevities. Suga is a joke without a spine. He really is a robot with no mind of his own.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

His support ratings have sunk amid flaring virus outbreaks and scandals within the ruling party, even as the economy appears to be recovering.

Oh no! Anyway.

Yeah when you lie and fail to do your job that tends to tank respect and reputation. Funny that.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

But for much of the past month, Suga did nothing, Nobuo Gohara, a lawyer and a political commentator, said in an online program. “He has the image of a leader who cannot resolve problems,” Gohara said

When has there ever been a leader of Japan who was resolving problems for the common man? Their interests never expand beyond their inner circle. The people only become problematic when they stop fulfilling their role as resources to be used by the ruling class.

15 ( +15 / -0 )

Japan’s overall handling of the pandemic has been praised by many

Example? I literally never read a single praise for Japan from any non-Japanese news source.

How about this? The edition is still relatively new.

The Japanese authorities understood covid-19 better than most

https://www.economist.com/asia/2020/12/12/the-japanese-authorities-understood-covid-19-better-than-most?utm_campaign=editorial-social&utm_medium=social-organic&utm_source=twitter

I also understand that caution is virtue, complacency is risk (especially for this virus).

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I’ve been asking for the last couple of months: ‘where’s Suga?!’ He’s literally been absent from his unfortunate role of leader thru this terrible situation. Any thoughts that his non-elite background would make him more in tune with the general population are dashed completely. Blaming the people indeed! What a hide this dinosaur has!

9 ( +9 / -0 )

The author of the article should lay the blame on the true culprits: Abe and all of his cronies.

Suga despite his shortcomings is just the poor sap left holding the bag!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

For Suga money is more important than peoples lives, this is why he is loosing popularity... Instead of doing everything to protect the people, he chose to stimulate tourism and thus spread the virus all over Japan and this is because businesses are the biggest political sponsors. They have been lobbying him to restart tourism.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

I have rarely seen, except for dictatorial states, someone so selfishly sacrificing his citizens for personal gain. There is no good reason at all not to immediately confirm the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. The GOTO campaign comes close to manslaughter and the lack of planning for the virus inoculation campaign shows complete incompetence. The mindless push for Olympics which can bring no advantages is mindbogling

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Suga’s efforts to win the public over with lower mobile phone rates and ambitious projects for digital transformation and achieving net carbon zero emissions by 2050.

The Prime Minister setting mobile phone rates is as poor a move as the Prime Minister arranging for everyone to get free washable masks.

The solution to perceived market problems, is not government intervention (which leads to failure on a frequent basis), but more free markets!

The joke of Japan’s politics is that these LDP clowns are supposed to be “right wing” here in Japan, but compared with left wing governments in other places these days, you’d have to concede that the LDP has more left wing policies.

What other “socialist” government has distributed millions of (low quality) masks to its populace during the pandemic? I cannot think of one! (This is not to say that it may not have happened in North Korea also.)

(There is now an abundance of masks in Japan thanks to the free market; the government provided masks were money down the drain except for the lackey who took the government contract)

In what other country does the government decide how much mobile phone price plans should cost?

North Korea and Cuba and Venezuela and the like, perhaps?

The way forward for Japan is not more government intervention in society, but less, government intervention in society.

Let’s have responsibility placed clearly in the hands of the public. It’s time for the public to grow up. These are no longer the feudal ages, we residents and tax payers of this country are adults of our own volition. We can make decisions by ourselves.

As for Government-led digital transformation, I am similarly skeptical, but wish them luck in showing us infidels how it is all to be done.

2050 zero carbon emissions... why 2050? Why not 2049? Come on. This stuff is all a joke.

We need to eliminate this notion of reliance upon government. We are free humans and our society does not revolve around these old fools who give out enough bribes to get themselves elected.

All we get from them is substandard services and a massive debt burden. I want less of both, and more free markets, more individual responsibility.

Suga has his heart in the right place, I’m sure. But like his LDP mates, he is a socialist. Socialism is not the way forward.

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

Honeymoon is over for Suga!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

PM Suga is doing no better or worse than other Japanese prime ministers of the past few decades. He took the job following the sudden departure of Mr Abe and is doing his best to keep Japan on a steady course. Thankyou for your hard work Mr Suga and I wish you and Japan well in 2021.

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

Go To Travel campaign, which provides steep discounts for domestic travel.

The program was launched in the summer, before Suga took office. It was suspended as of Monday, but many Japanese believe it helped spread the virus and should have been halted sooner

yah right the Japanese were using and partying with the Goto campaigns.

Japan’s overall handling of the pandemic has been praised by many: with just over 223,000 total cases and 3,306 deaths as of Monday, it has done better than scores of other affluent countries.

lol only because they limited testing and swept the whole virus under the rug in the name of Olympics

3 ( +5 / -2 )

The son of a strawberry farmer from northern Japan, in mid-September Suga was backed by Liberal Democratic Party boss Toshihiro Nikai in a party leadership race to replace Abe, who resigned citing a chronic health problem.

A Leadership election, based on a vote system, that’s result, in realty, is decision made from a faction led process.

This has contributed to the political malaise and indecision in office.

A government formed/appointed, rather than merit based.

High Office gained though seniority and entitlement.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga adjusts his face mask after a press conference on the COVID-19 situation on Dec 25.

Why is he touching his mask from the front and not by the strings like he's supposed to? He's even dumber than I thought. But then again, that perfectly illustrates his failed policies thus far. A pathetic afterthought of a PM he is.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The joke of Japan’s politics is that these LDP clowns are supposed to be “right wing” here in Japan, but compared with left wing governments in other places these days, you’d have to concede that the LDP has more left wing policies.

If by left wing you mean corporate socialism, laissez-faire savage capitalism for the working class and comfortable socially funded safety net for companies that would be true.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Article should have mentioned his governments failure to get a vaccine approved and given to the front line workers and vulnerable. Way too slow as usual.

It actually does mention that, though its kind of buried in the middle. I agree though, that issue is deserving of an article of its own. Why is what is essentially a bureaucratic process taking months longer here than it is in other countries, given the high cost in lives lost that the delay obviously threatens? This question really should be a headline.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

He’s not a young man, he’s probably waited his whole life for the opportunity to be prime minister and he does..nothing. Very poor start the sooner Japan has an actual ‘Leader’ the better for everyone. Suga seems more a follower.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

He’s not a young man, he’s probably waited his whole life for the opportunity to be prime minister and he does..nothing. Very poor start the sooner Japan has an actual ‘Leader’ the better for everyone. Suga seems more a follower.

He is a placeholder! I forsee Abe trying to worm his way back in! Of course, after his timely resignation from his undisclosed illness while he explained and apologized for his campaign corruption!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

For Suga money is more important than peoples lives, this is why he is loosing popularity

This is a popular cliche which I think is a bit unfair. Japan's excess deaths is down by 14.000 (Jan-Oct), an obvious decrease despite the extra deaths in covid and suicide, and despite its very large aging population. By contrast, many other countries badly affected by covid show excess deaths (see FT's chart, for instance). If the state's primary job is to protect its people's lives under threat (means any type of life-threats), Japan is so far successful in this regard. It may be fluke, but politics is judged by results.

国内の死亡1万4000人減 1~10月、コロナ対策影響か

https://www.nikkei.com/article/DGXZQODB225TI0S0A221C2000000

Money and lives are complimentary, inseparable rather than mutually exclusive. Amid the pandemic many Japanese have died of loss of livelihood, younger and working aged mostly suffered. That is another hard fact.

Yeah, I admit and feel a bit frustrated that the government's overall handling has been clumsy and unresponsive. Inconsistency between public request and own exempt as seen in the steak dinner meet is sure subject to public outcry. Yet I never think that Suga and his team under-value people's lives in favor of money. And I don't think Suga is very worse than Germany's Merkel, a "model" leader whose country has been producing far more daily cases and deaths (despite mild lockdowns).

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Suga has suggested that a lack of cooperation from the public and businesses has driven the latest big wave of cases. 

Yeah as usual LDP bigwigs blame the public for their own incompetence..pi...s off.

He is now proposing legislation to enable the government to issue binding orders 

Why wasn't this done way back in spring during corona,s first wave?

Japan’s overall handling of the pandemic has been praised by many: ..No it has only been praised by those who accept J-govt bs propaganda disimminated via compliany media.

with just over 223,000 total cases and 3,306 deaths as of Monday,

If you don't test, you don't find...simple as that.

it has done better than scores of other affluent countries.

But also worse than other " affluent countries" such as Aus, NZ, Taiwan etc...but of course that line never gets mentioned here.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

actionless,resultless,worthless tax wasting.just to be short and exact.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

If by left wing you mean corporate socialism, laissez-faire savage capitalism for the working class and comfortable socially funded safety net for companies that would be true.

So what is laisez-faire, according to Wikipedia:

"Laissez-faire is an economic system in which transactions between private groups of people are absent or almost absent of any form of economic interventionism such as regulation and subsidies."

... economic interventionism such as regulation and subsidies is what we've got.

GoTo subsidy programs. "Free" masks. Government decreeing acceptable mobile phone price plans.

The central bank is the largest shareholder of Japanese stocks.

Laissez-faire is when the government stays out of business, not has its hands all over it!

These LDP policies are the opposite, it's central planning socialism galore! No wonder the PM is falling out of favour.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The nerve of him to suggest it is due to a lack of cooperation from the public.

especially after the Go To debacle.

the pandemic has laid bare how truly incompetent Japanese politicians are.

when I arrived here over 30 years ago they were trying to resolve the Northern Territory issue and Futenma and still little or no progress on both.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

He was always a compromise candidate who was never going to last long, a stopgap while those with their own factions kept their powder dry and waited for their chance.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

These LDP policies are the opposite, it's central planning socialism galore! No wonder the PM is falling out of favour.

I agree that it is not Laissez-faire, but it isn’t socialism either. Socialism involves collective ownership of the means of production and self management of industries by labor, neither of which Japan has.

Just because a government sometimes does stuff that affects business does not mean you have a socialist system.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

... economic interventionism such as regulation and subsidies is what we've got.

GoTo subsidy programs. "Free" masks. Government decreeing acceptable mobile phone price plans.

So therefore: government intervening to break up the effect of corporate monopolies=socialism

The production of masks useless to the public which benefited a small clique of LDP affiliated companies=socialism.

Government policies skewing pandemic relief to financials and crony corporations with massive corporate welfare at the expense of the public also equals socialism.

Got it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Suga has suggested that a lack of cooperation from the public and businesses has driven the latest big wave of cases. 

And how could Taiwan manage to keep out infections and Japan not?

The people of Japan do not control the borders of Japan, the government does!

Actually, Taiwan has more lenient travel restrictions than Japan at the moment. Restricting travel is only a part of an efficient strategy.

But I agree. The government blaming the people's lack of cooperation is deplorable. These are the same guys who perpetuated the stereotype that things aren't as bad here as in other parts of the world because of higher standards of hygiene and 'mindo'. And now, to avoid any responsibility, they have no hesitation in throwing the people under the bus.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

FiddlersToday  06:59 am JST

Article should have mentioned his governments failure to get a vaccine approved and given to the front line workers and vulnerable. Way too slow as usual.

You mean the foreign vaccine thats awfully coincidence with the recent mutations. No thanks.

Suga took the job that nobody wanted, but he definitely made the right call on this.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

rainyday

Just because a government sometimes does stuff that affects business does not mean you have a socialist system.

Certainly, government policies affecting business does not mean it is socialist.

The examples I have given though - "free" masks from the state, subsidized travel and eating out by the state, interference in price setting functions - these are socialist moves in my opinion. Thankfully much of Japan is market-oriented, but the government has been going in the wrong direction recently. And the central bank has no business being the majority owner of Japan's market listed businesses.

dagon,

So therefore: government intervening to break up the effect of corporate monopolies=socialism

But that's not what the government has done. Suga has been talking about what the price ought to be.

DoCoMo, Softbank, and au are by definition not a monopoly. There are three of them.

I myself have a contract with a smaller player (and it's cheaper than what Suga says the price should be too).

If Suga were to find some kind of anti-competitive cartel behavior to shake his stick at - great. But that's not what he did. He started interfering with price setting.

If Suga were for normal free markets, he'd quit his position as PM and start a new telephone company to undercut the cartel players and undercut them, making billions of yen. But he's a socialist, not a capitalist.

The production of masks useless to the public which benefited a small clique of LDP affiliated companies=socialism.

Correct! (Those masks don't just grow on trees when the state dishes out our money for them)

Government policies skewing pandemic relief to financials and crony corporations with massive corporate welfare at the expense of the public also equals socialism.

If that's what they have been doing, correct! (I was not aware of financials being a recipient)

None of that is free-market capitalism, based on the voluntary exchange of individuals among one another.

As you point out, that is all at the expense of the public - that is socialism. All the 100 trillion yen of extra spending that the government has been doing in the name of the pandemic is money that is to be taxed from us all. Although I haven't indulged in the ridiculous GoTo programs myself, I am still obliged to pay my taxes. And those masks, it's the same thing. Those of us with no involvement in these GoTo or mask related transactions have been dragged into it by way of the government's socialist interventions.

Is it not better for each person who wishes to travel or own a mask to be able to spend his/her own money by himself, for a service or product of whatever quality he/she deems sufficient? Why are we all on the hook for this stuff? Because it is socialism, that's why :(

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Someone, in a post, compared Taiwan to Japan. Taiwan has a population equal to Osaka. There are 100 million more people in Japan. As for Suga, sap indeed, the placeholder wants to remain in power.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Do you guys actually think Suga is in control and runs Japan?!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

PLEASE save lives now not yr neck.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Is it possible to become the Iceland of the East?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites