Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Photo: AP
politics

Abe's support slumps amid doubts about school scandal

19 Comments

Support for Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe slumped more than 10 points to 44.9% in a public opinion poll published on Sunday, amid opposition party suspicions he used his influence unfairly to help a friend set up a business.

Abe has repeatedly denied abusing his authority to benefit his friend. His grip on power is not in danger, given his ruling coalition's huge majority in parliament, but the affair looks unlikely to fade away.

The education ministry unearthed documents last week that the opposition said suggested Abe wanted a new veterinary school run by a friend to be approved in a state-run special economic zone. The ministry had earlier said it could not find the documents but reopened the probe under public pressure.

Opposition politicians and the media have identified Abe's friend as Kotaro Kake, the director of the Kake Educational Institution, which wants to open a veterinary department. The government has not approved new veterinary schools for decades because of concern about a glut of veterinarians.

Nearly 85% of voters responding to a Kyodo news agency survey said they did not think the government probe had uncovered the truth of the affair and almost 74 percent were not persuaded by the government's insistence that there was nothing wrong with the approval process.

The institution has said it had acted appropriately.

Voters were split over last week's enactment by parliament of a controversial law that will penalise conspiracies to commit terrorism and other serious crimes, with 42.1% in favor and 44% against the legislation, Kyodo said.

The government says the new legislation is needed so Japan can ratify a U.N. treaty aimed at global organised crime and prevent terrorism in the run-up to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

Opponents say it will allow police to trample on civil liberties by expanding the scope for surveillance.

The ruling coalition pushed the law through parliament last week, taking the rare step of skipping a vote in committee and going directly to a full session of parliament's upper house.

Almost 68% of voters expressed dislike of that rarely used tactic, Kyodo said.

© Thomson Reuters 2017.

©2017 GPlusMedia Inc.

19 Comments
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The caption to that photo should read: To stay in power whilst being incompete, all you need is apathetic voters that ilunquestioningly follow authority.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Support for Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe slumped more than 10 points to 44.9% in a public opinion poll published on Sunday

excellent news! now let's see that translated into booting ABE and his right wing entourage out of power for a long time.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

I would rather hope that the slump is due to passing the "anti-terrorist activity bill" (="state surveillance bill") rather than a stupid influence peddling case.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Abe is step by step trying to take Japan back to its "glory days" prior to WWII. The "secrecy" bill was one step, "the anti-terrorist bill" is another and he would love to get the constitution changed so that Japan becomes a military power again.

I would rather think that these are what are eroding his support. I'm sure his "looking after his friends" is part of it too.

Time for him to step down.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

People simply don't care enough to boot him out. Apathy is his friend and consort.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

unfortunately, even if abe is ousted for this scandal (which i highly doubt will happen), the ldp will still be in power. so chop off one head and another one of similar ilk will grow. sad.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

I would rather hope that the slump is due to passing the "anti-terrorist activity bill" (="state surveillance bill") rather than a stupid influence peddling case.

Unfortunately, the Moritomo school fiasco and this Kake business were used as deflection to draw attention away from the Conspiracy Bill. The bill was passed by using the dodgy tactic explained in the article and the Diet Session is now finished. It's closed, done and dusted. Abe and his cohorts sneaked it through and Japan has taken a major step in becoming a Stasi-style surveillance state. Sad and scary days indeed.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/community/2017/06/14/issues/conspiracy-theory-becomes-frightening-reality-japan/#.WUcxMlHraUk

4 ( +6 / -2 )

By the comments here one can easily figure out how many progressist/democrats come from America to a historically conservative country to teach how Japanese people should think politics.

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

By the comments here one can easily figure out how many progressist/democrats come from America to a historically conservative country to teach how Japanese people should think politics.

Yes, America has a monopoly on progressists.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

It's good to see support for Dishonest Abe ebbing away. If it continues a challenger might emerge and he might not get a third term in power. Still, you can never underestimate the support the Japanese people will give to a crooked politician.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

44.9% is still to high considering Abe's the scandals and the dangerous

path he is taking the country to.

The memory span of the Japanese electorate is very short. By the time the next

diet session starts, all will be forgotten and the ratings will be back up.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

To people complaining about the Japanese electorate, remember that unfortunately our US written constitution does not have a reapportionment clause like the US constitution. There has been a massive influx of people from the countryside to the cities, but no reapportionment of legislators (forget about the "proportional representation" that was supposed to solve the problem), and the Supreme Court has declared some elections to be unconstitutional because in come cases 1 country vote equals 7 city votes. It is the country bumpkins that are keeping Abe and the LDP in power. I'm guessing that reapportionment is not going to be introduced into Abe's revised constitution. Remember here political office is handed down from father to son.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I am not an American.I think Abe is driving this country into the ground.I think that Japanese people need to wake up! And it appears they may be..Child poverty the highest by far in the developed world is nothing but discraceful

4 ( +6 / -2 )

why are words like suspicions and doubts used? people have sworn under oath and evidence has been shown. he has to go, but if that Ishihara lapdog is next, japan will be finally finished.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Get out you crook

4 ( +5 / -1 )

although I don't particularly support Mr. Abe, I think it is better to have a solid term for the Prime Minister. Many of you recall the revolving door where every croney gets to be prime minister for a few months in pre-Abe years.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

although I don't particularly support Mr. Abe, I think it is better to have a solid term for the Prime Minister. Many of you recall the revolving door where every croney gets to be prime minister for a few months in pre-Abe years.

Exactly. Like him or not, things are at least much more stable than when I first moved to Japan, and stability is more important than most people realize.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Why is this all blamed on the fairly trivial school scandal?  surely the slump could be just as mich about the crummy way he is running the country.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

constitution does not have a reapportionment clause like the US constitution.

but

Supreme Court has declared some elections to be unconstitutional because in come cases 1 country vote equals 7 city votes.

So clearly it is addressed in the constitution, and courts have on numerous occasions found elections to be "in a state of unconstitutionality" which supposedly differs somehow from simply being "unconstitutional". The problem is that there is not a proper mechanism to correct these imbalances in vote values and to pull them back into line each time following demographic shifts. You are right though that the current situation permanently helps the LDP and is a grotesque distortion which needs to be fixed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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