AGENCIES, Tokyo: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ‘stay home’ message tweeted on Sunday hasn’t been taken very well by netizens. In most other countries impacted by coronavirus, such a compliance by citizens has been quite well received after advisories from their leaders.
In Japan, the situation is quite the opposite, as Abe’s tweet has attracted angry reactions on social networks from those calling him insensitive to people who cannot rest at home because of the government’s social distancing measures that do not come with compensation.
Some tweets said he acted as if ‘an aristocrat’ and others said ‘What does he think he is!’ A one-minute video shows Abe sitting at home, expressionless, cuddling his dog, reading a book, sipping from a cup and clicking on a remote control.
The video, on a split-screen, features a popular singer and actor Gen Hoshino strumming on a guitar at home, but later posted on his Instagram that his clip was used without his permission.
Abe declared a state of emergency in Tokyo and six other prefectures last Tuesday, asking the people to stay home and reduce human interactions by as much as 80 per cent, but many Japanese companies have been slow to switch to remote-working and many people were seen commuting even after the declaration.
As of Sunday, Japan had 7,255 confirmed cases, as well as 712 other cases from a cruise ship quarantined earlier this year.