Socialist Worker

Japanese PM resigns after Olympic Covid crisis

Issue No. 2771

Yoshihide Suga and Boris Johnson

Yoshihide Suga and Boris Johnson (Pic: Number 10/Flickr)

Japan’s prime minister has been forced from office as his popularity plummets due to the government’s handling of coronavirus.

Yoshihide Suga will step down after just a year in the job.

He announced on Friday of last week that he would not seek re-election in this month’s leadership race for the ruling right wing Liberal Democratic party.

The winner of that contest will lead the party in a general election that must be held by 30 November.

Following the Olympics, coronavirus cases have hit record highs, hospitals are turning away patients and the vaccination campaign remains very limited.

In Tokyo alone, 4,292 people were hospitalised with Covid-19 last Sunday, with 264 of them critically ill.

None of this should come as a surprise. Scientists on the Tokyo Covid-19 Monitoring Committee warned on 20 August that “infection will rampage through the nation to a disastrous level. This is an emergency.”

None of this stopped the authorities pressing on with the Paralympics as well.

And organisers invited municipal authorities to send over 100,000 school children attend events.

This has led to a further surge of infections.

Return of Indian farmers’ movement shakes city

The farmers’ movement in India seems set to revive this autumn with big protests and strikes.

Tens of thousands of farmers in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh this week have taken to the streets.

They are demanding the government repeal its recently‑passed farming laws which will make it easier for giant multinationals to grab agriculture.

State subsidies of key crops will be phased out.

Reports say at least 500,000 farmers and supporters took part with tractors in Muzaffarnagar.

Protest leaders pledged to occupy all roads with a 12-mile radius of the city.

“We’ll intensify our protest by going to every single city and town of Uttar Pradesh to convey the message that Modi’s government is anti-farmer,” Rakesh Tikait told the BBC.

The movement is calling for a nationwide strike on 27 September.

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