Abe may re­sign in June, says ex-Japan PM

The Free Press Journal - - WORLD -

Ja­panese Prime Min­is­ter Shinzo Abe is likely to re­sign in June over two crony­ism scan­dals that sent his ap­proval rat­ings to an all-time low and risk dam­ag­ing his par­tys for­tunes in the 2019 elec­tions, for­mer leader Ju­nichiro Koizumi told a weekly mag­a­zine.

Koizumi, who was Prime Min­is­ter from 2001-06, told Aera mag­a­zine pub­lished on Mon­day that Abe has found him­self in a "dan­ger­ous" sit­u­a­tion over the scan­dals. "Won't Abe re­sign around the time the par­lia­men­tary ses­sion ends (on June 20)?"

The Prime Min­is­ter's pop­u­lar­ity hit a record low of 26.7 per cent in a sur­vey con­ducted by Nip­pon TV, while ac­cord­ing to Asahi's sur­vey it fell by 31 per cent, the low­est in more than five years of Abe's term, much lower than April 2013, when his rat­ing peaked at 65.7 per cent.

His pop­u­lar­ity plunged more than 10 points, af­ter his Fi­nance Min­is­ter had ad­mit­ted in March that his min­istry had faked doc­u­ments re­lated to the sale of state-owned land at around one-tenth of its price to a pri­vate ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tion, with al­leged links to the Prime Min­is­ter and his wife, Akie Abe.

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