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33% worried about COVID's 7th wave in Japan, 17% not concerned: Mainichi poll

People walk in the Ginza shopping street in Tokyo in this photo taken on April 10, 2022. (Mainichi/Kenji Ikai)

TOKYO -- Only 33% of respondents in an opinion poll conducted by the Mainichi Shimbun and the Social Survey Research Center on April 23 said they are worried about a potential seventh wave of coronavirus infections, while a half of them answered that they are still "concerned but not as much as before."

    Meanwhile, 17% said they are not anxious about another outbreak. Broken down by age groups, over 20% of respondents in their 40s and younger were "not worried," a higher proportion than those in their 50s and older. The only age group that had more than 40% expressing concern was that of those in their 70s and older.

    Asked if quasi-emergency measures should be applied to the areas where coronavirus infections are spreading again, 36% answered "yes," while 50% said there was "no need."

    On COVID-19 countermeasures taken up by the administration of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, 35% responded that that they approve of them, while 34% said they disapprove of the measures. Thirty-one percent said they are undecided.

    The Kishida Cabinet's approval rate was 50%, slightly up from 48% in the previous survey carried out on March 19. The disapproval rate was 34%, dropping 4 percentage points from the March survey.

    Asked which political party they want to vote for in the upcoming House of Councillors election this summer, 32% named the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), down 1 point from the previous survey, followed by the Japan Innovation Party (Nippon Ishin) at 15%, up 1 point from the March poll; the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan at 8%, down 4 points; the Japanese Communist Party at 5%, up 1 point from March; the Democratic Party for the People at 4%, down 1 point; the LDP's junior coalition partner Komeito at 3%, up 1 point from the previous poll; and the minor opposition Reiwa Shinsengumi at 3%, unchanged from March. Twenty-seven percent said they didn't know which party to vote for, up 2 points from the previous survey.

    Meanwhile, 65% of respondents said they have received their third booster shot. While 14% answered that they would like to get a booster shot soon, 11% said they didn't think they wanted it soon. Eight percent said they haven't even received their second doses.

    (Japanese original by Nanae Ito, Political News Department and Ko Sato, Technology Center)

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