TOKYO - Voter support for Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga's government hit the lowest level since he took office last year, with a majority of the public unhappy with his handling of the pandemic, a survey by public broadcaster NHK showed on Monday.
Japan is struggling with a fourth wave of the pandemic, and the government last week extended a state of emergency for Tokyo and three other prefectures until the end of May - less than two months before the scheduled start of the Tokyo Olympics on July 23.
In the NHK survey, conducted May 7-9, 35% of respondents said they supported Suga's government, down nine percentage points from last month. In comparison, 43% of those polled said they did not support the government.
Nearly two-thirds of those polled said they did not evaluate the government's coronavirus response positively much or at all, with 82% of respondents said progress in the vaccination campaign had been slow.
Suga aims to complete vaccinating the nation's elderly population of 36 million people by the end of July, with most people in younger age brackets to receive shots after that.
But as of last week Japan had administered vaccination shots to only 2.2% of its population, mostly health care workers and the elderly, the slowest vaccination rate among wealthy countries.
(Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Hugh Lawson) ((email@example.com; +81 3 4563 2788;))