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January 28, 2021

Japan PM apologises after lawmakers’ night club outings

World

January 28, 2021

TOKYO: Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga apologised on Wednesday after lawmakers from his ruling coalition visited night clubs despite his government’s call for people to avoid unnecessary outings to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The news is another headache for Suga whose approval rating has tumbled because of dissatisfaction with his handling of the pandemic, which critics have called too slow and inconsistent. “I’m terribly sorry that this happened when we are asking people not to eat out after 8 p.m. and to avoid non-essential, non-urgent outings,” Suga told parliament.

“Each lawmaker should behave to gain the public’s understanding.” Japan this month issued a state of emergency in Tokyo and other areas to tame a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases. The measure includes a request for restaurants and bars to close by 8 p.m. although there are currently no penalties for non-compliance. “My behaviour was careless at a time when we are asking people to be patient,” Jun Matsumoto, a senior lawmaker from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, told reporters.