Japanese social media users have accused Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of being deaf in tone after posting a video of himself relaxing at home as people across the country struggle to work from home.
During the coronavirus pandemic, many multinational companies turned to messaging and video conferencing software such as Slack and Webex to stay in touch with colleagues. But in Japan, about 80 percent of companies can’t let employees work remotely, according to 2019 government data.
Posted on Twitter, the video shows Abe reading a book, sipping a hot drink and relaxing with his pet dog while a musician serenades him online from another location.
“We can’t see our friends or go out drinking. However, such actions (staying at home) save many lives and relieve the pressure on healthcare professionals who face very difficult circumstances, ”Abe tweeted. “Thank you to each individual for their cooperation. “
Abe’s tweet urging people to stay at home comes as much of Japan has entered its first weekend under the state of emergency.
Earlier in April, Abe faced public backlash after declaring that the government would distribute two reusable cloth masks to about 50 million households amid growing concern over medical shortages.
The number of confirmed cases has increased in recent days, after it became apparent that Japan’s initial response had brought the virus under control. At least 7,967 cases were reported across the country on Monday, including 712 cases linked to the Diamond Princess Cruise, according to the Japanese Ministry of Health.