Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami has criticized the country’s prime minister over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic

日本語 小説家 Haruki Murakami in his monthly radio show Sunday criticized the country’s prime minister, saying Yoshihide Suga has ignored a growing COVID-19 surge and public concerns about the pandemic.

Murakami quoted Suga’s comment that “an exit is now in our sight after a long tunnel,” made just before the pandemic-delayed 東京 Olympics last month. Since the games began, daily new cases have gone up nearly five times nationwide, and more than tripled in Tokyo.

“If he really saw an exit, his eyes must be extremely good for his age. I’m of the same age as Mr. 吸う, but I don’t see any exit at all,” said Murakami, 72.

“He doesn’t listen to others, and perhaps he only has eyes that see well, or he sees only what he wants to see,” 彼は言った.

Murakami previously has criticized politicians for reading texts prepared by bureaucrats and not communicating with powerful messages that can reach people’s hearts.

“While we still don’t see an exit, we must survive until we really start seeing an exit, while we make use of everything available,” Murakami said.

吸う, seen as overly optimistic about vaccine efficacy, has faced criticism for holding the Olympics and Paralympics despite widespread health concerns and public protest. Support ratings for his government have nosedived to below 30% 今月, from about 70% soon after his inauguration last September.

The prime minister last week expanded emergency COVID-19 measures to cover about three-quarters of Japan.

As Suga expanded the emergency measures, he cited a recently launched cocktail infusion treatment as an additional weapon, そして、言いました, “We are beginning to see a light clearly,” triggering a backlash. He also has praised the pace of Japan’s rollout since late May to exceed a targeted 1 million daily doses, despite the delayed and slow start.

約 44% of Japan’s population is fully vaccinated. Suga says he hopes to fully vaccinate all eligible and willing people by October or November, but experts say herd immunity would be impossible due to the highly contagious delta variant.

Murakami began writing while running a jazz bar in Tokyo after graduating from university. Following his 1979 debut novel “Hear the Wind Sing,」 1987 romance “Norwegian Wood” became his first bestseller, establishing him as a young literary star. He is also known for bestsellers such as “A Wild Sheep Chase,” “The Wind-up Bird Chronicle,” and “1Q84.

His “Murakami Radio” show started in August 2018 on Tokyo FM. In Sunday’s pre-recorded program, “Music in Murakami,” he played songs based on fan requests.