Many Japanese have criticised Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s “stay home” message on social networks as more people struggle to make ends meet due to the economic fallout of the coronavirus crisis.
The one-minute video clip on Abe’s Facebook showed the premier sitting on a sofa, cuddling a dog, taking a sip from a cup and reading a book.
The video uses a split screen, with Abe seen relaxing on one side while the other half shows popular musician Gen Hoshino strumming his guitar and singing a laid back song from another location.
“You don’t see your friends. You don’t go to drinking parties.
“However, everyone’s actions like these are helping save many lives,” Abe wrote on Twitter.
Hoshino said later on his Instagram that the clip of him singing was used without his permission.
Abe issued a state of emergency last Tuesday for seven prefectures, including Tokyo and Osaka, requesting residents in the regions stay at home, while critics argued the government’s plan will not provide enough support for small and mid-sized businesses.
“Our labour union has been swamped with calls from workers who were fired and those whose businesses were forced to suspend without any compensation due to the coronavirus pandemic,” Mitsuteru Suda, an official at the National Union of General Workers Tokyo Tobu, tweeted.
“Non-regular workers only drinking water, single mothers struggling to survive without paying utilities bills, temporary workers forced to leave their apartment, are you watching Abe relaxing at home? Stay alive and get angry!” Suda said.