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Haruki Murakami has criticized the Japanese prime minister over his pandemic optimism.

Emily Temple

August 30, 2021, 8:44am

Haruki Murakami is not pleased with the way the Japanese prime minister, Yoshihide Suga, is handling the pandemic, the AP reports. This Sunday, on Murakami’s monthly radio show, he criticized Suga’s optimistic rhetoric around the pandemic. Just before the Tokyo Olympics, Suga told the country that “an exit is now in our sight after a long tunnel.” However, cases have spiked since then.

“If he really saw an exit, his eyes must be extremely good for his age. I’m of the same age as Mr. Suga, but I don’t see any exit at all,” said Murakami, who is 72, on his show. “It seems he doesn’t listen to others, and perhaps he only has eyes that see well, or he sees only what he wants to see. . . .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.”

Only about 44% of Japan’s population is fully vaccinated, which puts them well behind most developed nations, although they are aiming for full vaccination by the fall.

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