Abe’s Rat­ing Falls In Me­dia Poll

Iran News - - INTERNATIONAL -

TOKYO (Dis­patches) Sup­port for Ja­panese Prime Min­is­ter Shinzo Abe, plagued by ac­cu­sa­tions of crony­ism and cover-ups, fell to 26.7 per­cent in a sur­vey by pri­vate broad­caster Nip­pon TV re­leased on Sun­day, the low­est since he took of­fice in De­cem­ber 2012.

Abe’s slid­ing rat­ings are rais­ing doubts over whether he can win a third three-year term as rul­ing Lib­eral Demo­cratic Party (LDP) leader in a Septem­ber vote he needs to win to stay in of­fice or whether he might even re­sign be­fore the party elec­tion.

The Prime Min­is­ter last week de­nied again that he had in­ter­vened to en­sure pref­er­en­tial treat­ment for ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tion Kake Gakuen, run by his friend Ko­taro Kake, to set up a vet­eri­nary school.

He has also re­peat­edly de­nied that he or his wife in­ter­vened in a heav­ily dis­counted sale of state-owned land to an­other school op­er­a­tor, Morit­omo Gakuen, with ties to his wife.

An­other sur­vey re­leased on Sun­day by Kyodo news agency put Abe’s sup­port at 37 per­cent, down 5.4 points.

The polls come ahead of Abe’s sum­mit this week with U.S. Pres­i­dent Trump, where he faces a tough agenda in­clud­ing North Korea’s nu­clear and mis­sile threat and sticky trade is­sues.

For­mer cab­i­net min­is­ter Shigeru Ishiba, who has made clear he wants to chal­lenge Abe for the top post, topped the list of politi­cians that re­spon­dents to the Kyodo sur­vey saw as best suited to be­come the next premier, with 26.6 per­cent.

Pop­u­lar young LDP law­maker Shin­jiro Koizumi, son of ex-prime min­is­ter Ju­nichiro Koizumi, ranked sec­ond with 25.2 per­cent, fol­lowed by Abe in third place with 18.3 per­cent.

For­mer premier Koizumi told re­porters on Satur­day he thought it would be dif­fi­cult for Abe to win a third term as LDP leader. “He has lost trust and what­ever he says sounds like an ex­cuse,” he told re­porters.

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