Abe Faces Grilling in Parliament as Support Continues to Fall

by 7:30 PM 0 comments
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will seek to stem a slide in his government’s popularity during special parliamentary hearings on Monday examining allegations of cronyism.
Approval for Abe’s cabinet sank to 26 percent, the lowest since he took office in 2012, in a poll conducted by the Mainichi newspaper over the weekend.
Disapproval was more than twice as high at 56 percent.
A separate poll by the Nikkei newspaper put support at 39 percent, down 10 percentage points from the previous month.
Abe is set to face questions over why one of his close friends received government backing to open the country’s first veterinary college in decades.
 He is set to reshuffle his cabinet early next month in a bid to claw back support and stay in his job at least until a party leadership election due in September 2018.
Read here about why Abe is falling in the polls While support for the main opposition Democratic Party has faded into the low single figures, Abe faces potential rivals within his own LDP.
More than 60 percent of respondents to the Mainichi poll said Abe shouldn’t serve a third term as party leader.
Only months ago, Abe appeared to be within reach of becoming the country’s longest-ever serving prime minister.
The long-dominant party changed its rules in March to allow him to serve a third consecutive term as leader, which could have taken him through to 2021.
The ruling party suffered a historic election defeat in the Tokyo assembly election earlier this month.
In a fresh blow, an LDP-supported candidate lost to a rival backed by opposition parties in Sunday’s election for mayor of the northern city of Sendai.

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