Japan's tougher virus border controls boost support for PM, poll shows

FILE PHOTO: Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida speaks during his press conference, after the parliament re-elected him as prime minister following an election victory last month by his ruling Liberal Democratic Party, in Kantei, Japan November 10, 2021. Stanislav Kogiku/ Pool via REUTERS

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese voters’ support for Prime Minister Fumio Kishida ticked up after his government enforced tighter border controls against the Omicron variant of coronavirus, the Yomiuri Shimbun daily said on Monday.

Japan took some of the world’s strictest steps on Nov. 29 by closing its borders to new foreign entrants for about a month. A day later, it discovered its first Omicron infection in a Namibian diplomat who had arrived on Nov. 28.

Support for Kishida’s government was 62%, up from 56% a month ago, the Yomiuri poll showed, with 89% of respondents taking a positive view of the latest measures.

The upbeat survey results came despite Thursday’s flip-flop on inbound airline bookings, a ban on which had provoked worry and confusion among citizen looking to return home for year-end holidays.

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