politics

Abe, on hot seat amid sagging support, denies giving friend preferential treatment

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By Elaine Lies and Linda Sieg

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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's support slid 10 points to 26% in a poll published on Sunday, a day before he will be grilled in the Diet over a suspected scandal that is cutting his ratings to the lowest since taking office in 2012.

Nothing like good news in the morning.

Abe and his aides have repeatedly denied intervening to help Kake Gakuen (Kake Educational Institution) win approval for a veterinary school in a special economic zone. Its director, Kotaro Kake, is a friend of Abe.

How stupid do they think the public is?

Defense Minister Tomomi Inada, an Abe protege, meanwhile faces calls to resign over media reports, which she has denied, of direct involvement in a ministry cover-up of documents about a sensitive peacekeeping operation.

That's not the only reason. Remember her calls for the SDF to vote for Abe?

The scandals and a perception among many voters that Abe's administration is taking them for granted, are encouraging rivals and casting doubt on Abe's hopes for a third term as ruling Liberal Democratic Party leader.

HE WAS taking them for granted.

Media reports have said officials had tried to hide the logs because they showed a worsening security situation in the African country. Japan ended its participation in the peacekeeping operation in May but said the withdrawal was not related to security concerns.

They shouldn't have been there in the first place.

18 ( +19 / -1 )

watching him on tv now. he talking down to people like he is lecturing them.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

Let's hope this spells the end for this loser. Abe still seems to think he is untouchable, but the evidence points in a different direction. I fear it's only a matter of time before a scapegoat is found and blamed. Let's also hope that Aso does not replace him. That's just going from bad to worse.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

liar liar pants on fire

15 ( +16 / -1 )

"How stupid do they think the pubic is?"

Uh, the public is pretty stupid. How else do you explain the popularity of professional wrestling, most TV shows, fanatical reverence for a professional sports team, religion and them electing Abe and others like him so many times?

Look, this is just Iike in any large company or even the military. When people are selected for flag rank (general or admiral), the family sits through a lecture on what the consequences of their words can be.

For example, if an admiral's wife innocently says that she always hits her golf ball into a bunker on the front right of hole #4 of the base golf course, someone will overhear it and the next day a construction crew will be out there (spending all kinds of money) to fill in that bunker and change the hole to something more pleasing to her, since the treat people like royalty, just like they treat prime ministers like royalty now.

So, technically, Abe didn't have to say anything directly. He simply has to have someone overhear him say that he wishes his friend success in his business.

That's all it takes.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

domtoidiToday  10:35 am JST

"How stupid do they think the pubic is?"

Uh, the public is pretty stupid. How else do you explain the popularity of professional wrestling, most TV shows, fanatical reverence for a professional sports team, religion and them electing Abe and others like him so many times?

To be fair though, the system is kind of rigged so that Abe and the LDP don't actually need that many people to vote for them, although you have to ask some serious questions about the intellectual capabilities of the ones that do.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Abe has friends?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Not that anyone expected honesty from Abe this time around, but very glad people are starting to see his lies and it's hurting the LDP at the polls. Now the politicians HAVE to listen to their constituents for a change.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Several opinion polls have shown Abe's support has plunged below 30% and, while this does not immediately threaten his job, it does cloud the longer-term outlook.

Want to bet? If he drops below 20% the sharks within the LDP will start calling for him to resign. People should never forget that the LDP is a grouping of a number of factions, and the infighting for positioning and garnering support for alternative leaders is probably already begun.

Abe has ruled the LDP with an iron fist it seems, and there are sure to be enemies within his own party that would love to see him go as well. The noise will get louder soon if his numbers continue to fall.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

"How stupid do they think the pubic is?"

I think the fact that Abe and his cronies have remained in office for over six years answers that question. Actually, the fact he was voted in at all is enough to show how stupid the people are. However, let's not forget that, prior to Abe's appointment Japan had 16 prime ministers in 15 years. Japan has not had a real leader for over two decades. That's how stupid the people really are! And, the voter turn out for federal elections is only around 60%. Yeah, that's pretty stupid!

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Abe and his cronies have remained in office for over six years

Not even five years yet.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Abe and his aides have repeatedly denied intervening to help Kake Gakuen (Kake Educational Institution) win approval for a veterinary school in a special economic zone. Its director, Kotaro Kake, is a friend of Abe.

Refusing, in denail but the facts state that his friend received favours worth 9.6biliion yen of taxpayers

money.

Just like in the moritomo case, with all the denials, kagoike did indeed receive favors.

who do these liars think they are deceiving.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I think Abe and Suga are both too proud and full of themselves to resign. Plus, there doesn't have to be another election for three years, so he might try to stay on as long as possible. Of course I'd love to see him gone yesterday, but I can't see who would be willing to try and force Abe out.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

He can’t really admit having done some favors here and there. It would spell the end for him. So, he is lying with a straight face. Practice makes perfect you know.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Abe has friends?

er, nippon kaigi is pretty big, and he is always jet setting in his two jumbo jets full of acquaintances.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

The more one denies guilt, the more the haters will accuse. Fact.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

There is no clear competent replacement, either within the ruling LDP or any opposition party capable of producing polices in any one sector. Agriculture, welfare, health, climate and the environment, energy,  most importantly the economy.  

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike projects the reformist image, and has a populist media profile but little idea about how to achieve legislative reform beyond a sound bite.

What disappoints the most is Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe genuinely processes the qualities and leaderships skills to run government. Few also have the political mastery, ability or authority to command enough power to steer a country with the culture, heritage and tradition of Japan.

But Abe san is ideologically hobbled, wanting to revise the pacifist constitution above carrying out much needed action to combat depopulation, a grossly unequal level of social mobility, and a failing economic growth model.

If there is one moment that the wheels started to wobble it was the loss of  Akira Amari, arguably the only minster that technically knew how to steer TPP and crucially reforms to restore Japan debt burdened economy that as time progresses resembles debt monetization in all but name.  

What is remarkable, Defence Minister Tomomi Inada was well out of harm's way as Minister of State for Regulatory Reform , so what possessed Abe San to what amounts politically handing a child a loaded gun without a safety catch is mystifying to say the least?.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

He broke the 11th Commandment:

Thou Shalt Not Get Caught.
8 ( +8 / -0 )

Laughable each and every time a politician, government leader or Prime Minister/President straight-faced lies about how they didn't/don't help out friends and family with favors, influence, etc. It's a fact of life and would have an ounce of respect for them if they would admit it.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Politics is all about giving preferential treatment to friends. If you want to be a politician, promises of preferential treatment will get you elected, and giving preferential treatment will keep you elected. Almost no one goes into politics to help society, and they certainly don't do it for their government salaries. People want to become politicians because doing so can make you rich. That very small number of people who do run for office to make the world a better place are corrupted almost immediately.

The problem with Abe is not that he gave preferential treatment to a friend (you will not find a single, solitary member in the diet who hasn't done that), but that after more than four years of "Abenomics", Japan's economy has not recovered and grown. Instead of economic growth, higher wages, and a brighter future for Japan, Abe is spending all of his time enacting new secrecy laws, and trying to change the constitution. People feel that they have been deceived, and they have.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Almost no one goes into politics to help society, and they certainly don't do it for their government salaries. People want to become politicians because doing so can make you rich. That very small number of people who do run for office to make the world a better place are corrupted almost immediately.

I wouldn't disagree with that entirely but we are talking about the LDP here. The likes of Abe and Aso are not high-flyers who were headhunted by Goldman Sachs but decided to choose the lower salary of a politician. They are generally moneyed, mediocre people with convenient access to a job in politics through family connections.

As well as being useless in politics, most of them would be of no use outside politics.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Countries hostile to Japan are behind the current smearing campaign going on against PM Abe in media and opinion polls.PM Abe should remain alert against the mechanisms of such forces who do want to see a strong Japan playing its dominant role in International political field.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

B.l. SharmaToday  09:33 pm JST

Countries hostile to Japan are behind the current smearing campaign going on against PM Abe in media and opinion polls.

What proof do you have for that rather... um, remarkable allegation?

PM Abe should remain alert against the mechanisms of such forces who do want to see a strong Japan playing its dominant role in International political field.

Yes... maybe just read that sentence back to yourself and see if you can find any problems with it.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Denied again? What does Abe can't deny? Hint: economy.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The LDP lacks individualism cause of Abe. Abe has started to appear as a paramount/immortal leader within japanese politics that he is literally starting to get immune towards critiques and potentially frontrunners!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Everybody knows Abe's cronyism is widespread and friends especially political supporter always want favors soon or a later...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

LDP will be a majority party for many more years. I recommend Hosokawa to reform LDP.

Write who you recommend for a new LDP leader. Be realistic. LDP will not disappear.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

toshiko, the party would not ignore him. Look at the picture, he is right there. Get it?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Abe 'on' the hot seat conjures up too graphic an image, especially with his medical history! Surely that should be 'in' the hot seat.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Well, the question now is, has Abe's Diet appearance made any difference? It doesn't sound as if he's said anything that would convince people one way or the other.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I don't agree the government party those lawmakers went too much further their policies just because of the earlier popularity and the reason they could do that as they wanted according with the wind in the side. Japan still on the rail of bureaucratic policies, now too close to this government. "I don't remember" words flying on the diet, wow! The scandals are still on the way and the opposition party(ies) not getting the point or sometimes pointless show what the political reality in Japan, that's too bad and disappointments on the air.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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