NHK poll: Majority of people in Japan still concerned about coronavirus

An NHK opinion poll shows that a majority of people in Japan remain concerned about the spread of the coronavirus, but the figure has dropped, especially among younger people.

NHK conducted the survey from November 1 to December 6 of 3,600 people aged 18 or older. A total of 2,266 people responded.

Asked whether they are worried about infection, 84 percent said they are worried at least to some extent, while 16 percent said they are not.

The percentage of people who expressed concern has been falling gradually since the survey began in November 2020.

The figure has dropped among younger people, but senior citizens who tend to carry a higher risk of becoming seriously ill, remain wary.

Asked to choose one or more anti-virus measures they are taking, 98 percent said they wear masks and wash their hands -- almost unchanged from the 2020 survey.

Sixty-nine percent said they avoid closed and crowded places. That's down nine points. Sixty-one percent said they maintain social distancing, also down nine points.

As for the government's response, 55 percent gave a positive assessment, while 44 percent held a negative view.

The positive answer is down four points from the 2021 survey. The negative assessment rose five points.

Asked what measures they want the government to implement, 49 percent chose the development of drugs and vaccines. Twenty percent chose economic assistance, while 15 percent called for the expansion of medical services for those infected.

The percentage of people who called for economic support rose six points from the previous survey in 2021.

Asked whether the government should focus on anti-infection measures or a recovery in economic activity, 39 percent chose anti-infection measures. Sixty percent chose economic activity.

The survey found that the younger generation put more focus on economic activity.