'No compensation': Japanese PM Shinzo Abe criticised for 'insensitive, aristocratic' stay home message

Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe’s “stay home” message has fueled anger and accusations that he was insensitive to people who cannot rest at home because the government’s social distancing measures are voluntary and don’t come with compensation.

The Associated Press April 13, 2020 16:19:09 IST
'No compensation': Japanese PM Shinzo Abe criticised for 'insensitive, aristocratic' stay home message

Tokyo: Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe’s “stay home” message has fueled anger and accusations that he was insensitive to people who cannot rest at home because the government’s social distancing measures are voluntary and don’t come with compensation.

No compensation Japanese PM Shinzo Abe criticised for insensitive aristocratic stay home message

File image of Japan prime minister Shinzo Abe. AFP

Some people reacting to his message on Twitter said Abe acted like “an aristocrat.” The one-minute video released on Sunday shows Abe sitting at home, expressionless, cuddling his dog, reading a book, sipping from a cup and clicking on a remote control. Entertainer Gen Hoshino appeared in part of the video but later said the clip of him strumming on a guitar at home was used without his permission.

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Abe declared a state of emergency in Tokyo and six other prefectures last Tuesday and broadened it to nationwide on Saturday. He is asking people to stay home and reduce interactions by as much as 80 percent, but he wants non-business closures to wait until effects of the stay home request are evaluated.

Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike went ahead and asked non-essential businesses such as hostess bars, movie theaters and schools to close until 6 May, with some exceptions, but most other prefectures have fallen behind. Saitama, north of Tokyo, started non-essential business closures Monday, and its Governor Motohiro Ono said he planned to ask the central government for financial support to compensate for the business closures.

Many Japanese companies are slow to switch to remote work and many people were still commuting to their jobs.

Japan had 7,255 confirmed cases of coronavirus infection and 114 deaths, according to the latest figures on Monday.

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