Published: Tue, March 20, 2018
Money | By Armando Alvarado

Cronyism Allegations Chip Away at Support for Japan's Abe

Cronyism Allegations Chip Away at Support for Japan's Abe

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe telephoned Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday to congratulate him on his election victory and to reaffirm his commitment to a denuclearised North Korea.

The post Embattled Japanese PM Attacks Critics Amid Corruption Allegations appeared first on Channels Television.

Last week, the Finance Ministry admitted that 14 documents related to a dubious sale of state land at one-seventh of the appraised value to nationalistic school operator Moritomo Gakuen had been altered. A finance ministry official committed suicide earlier this month, leaving a note saying that he feared being blamed for the scandal, public broadcaster NHK reported.

Fifty percent of respondents said Finance Minister Taro Aso should resign to take responsibility for the falsified documents, while 36 percent said there was no such need.

"The issue of rewriting the settlement documents has shaken public confidence in the government".

References to Abe, his wife, and Aso were removed from the finance ministry´s records of the sale, copies of documents released by the ministry showed.Both men have denied any wrongdoing in the affair.But 66.1 percent of respondents to a poll conducted by Kyodo news agency on Saturday and Sunday said they felt the premier had some responsibility for the altered documents.

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He also said passages citing Akie and other lawmakers made up "only a portion" of the documents and that they were deleted nearly completely in the doctored version, suggesting that it was not the case that particular consideration was paid to him or his wife.

But the ruling coalition only said it could not make a decision until its senior executives meet Tuesday morning, stalling the day's talks, according to Democratic Party lawmaker Takanori Kawai.

Asked about the sharp drop in his Cabinet's approval ratings in the latest polls conducted by news organizations including the Mainichi Shimbun, the prime minister only stated, "I'm just going to do what I'm supposed to without reacting nervously to every little thing". Second was Shinjiro Koizumi, son of a popular former prime minister, with Abe in third place.

In an LDP presidential election, half the votes are cast by representatives of its regional chapters, who are more likely to be affected by the sentiments of the general public.

The 63-year-old is gunning for an unprecedented third consecutive term, which would put him on course towards becoming Japan's longest-serving leader.

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