Aug. 13 (UPI) -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe received the lowest approval rating in a recent survey covering six countries and their response to the global coronavirus pandemic.
The poll shows Abe is under fire for his handling of the health crisis as speculation grows in Japan that Abe could leave office before the end of his term in September 2021.
According to U.S.-German communications consultancy Kekst CNC, Abe's ratings are lower than that of U.S. President Donald Trump or British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the Tokyo Shimbun reported Thursday. Both the United States and Britain have confirmed higher numbers of COVID-19 cases than Japan.
The survey, which polled 1,000 respondents from the United States, Britain, Germany, Sweden, France and Japan, shows Abe scoring minus 34 points. Trump scored minus 21 points and Johnson received minus 12 points, according to Kekst.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel received the highest score, or 42 points, for her response to the virus, the poll shows.
Respondents in Japan also voiced concerns about losing their jobs amid COVID-19. More than one-third of the respondents said they are worried their companies could go bankrupt, the survey shows.
Jochen Legewie, the Japan head of the consultancy, said the results show extremely strong dissatisfaction among Japanese with the government's business policies. Abe's popularity has plummeted because of policies that have not worked to turn around the economy, according to the analyst.
Japan's daily confirmed cases of COVID-19 exceeded 1,000 on Thursday. More than 1,000 people have died from the virus, and the country has reported a total of 53,287 cases.
Abe's cabinet is also suffering from diminished support, in the 30% range, according to Japan-based analyst William Pesek.
According to Pesek, Abe has "largely withdrawn from day-to-day decision-making," and raising questions whether "his days are numbered," he said.
Abe has refused to declare another state of emergency for Japan despite the rising number of coronavirus cases.