“A majority of Japanese firms want Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga to lose office through general elections that must be held this year, frustrated with the lack of leadership in his handling of COVID-19 and its economic fallout,” a Reuters poll published early Friday showed.
The Corporate Survey canvassed 503 large and midsize non-financial firms of which roughly a half responded to questions on condition of anonymity.
Most firms said it was worth hosting the Tokyo 2020 Olympics despite the fact that pre-Olympics polls had shown opponents of the Games overwhelmed proponents amid the pandemic. Still, 90% saw the Olympics having no impact on businesses, the poll found.
To be sure, few companies expected change of power through the elections due to weak opposition parties. But many expected the ruling camp to lose seats at the election.
Still, in a sign of deepening doubt about Suga’s leadership and accountability, one third expected the coalition to lose many seats and another quarter saw them falling short of a majority and barely holding power.
Of the 465 seats in the lower chamber, the ruling parties currently hold 305 seats.
On policy priorities for the post-election government, economic measures and COVID-19 responses topped respondents’ to-do list.