Category: Japan

JAPAN: Suga, under fire as Diet reopens, seeks new powers to combat pandemic

  • The ordinary session of the Diet opened on Monday, 18 January, as the Suga administration tries to contain the still-widening third wave of Covid-19.
  • His approval ratings plummeting, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is trying to reverse the impression that his response to the pandemic has been overly reactive by seeking more robust public health controls and tapping a popular minister to oversee vaccine distribution.
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JAPAN: Surging caseload suggests new state of emergency is only the beginning

On Thursday, 7 January, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga officially declared a month-long state of emergency for Tokyo and its neighboring prefectures of Chiba, Saitama, and Kanagawa. The announcement came as the country set new records for case numbers nationwide – 7,571 new cases – and in 20 prefectures, including Tokyo, which reported 2,447 new cases, significantly higher than the previous record of 1,591.… Read the rest

JAPAN: Suga heads into parliamentary recess facing political headwinds

  • Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga heads into a parliamentary recess with his approval ratings having fallen sharply.
  • Suga’s falling approval ratings likely reflect growing disapproval of his handling of Covid-19 and perhaps also the reemergence of a political finance scandal that has implicated former prime minister Shinzo Abe’s aides.
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