Abe’s pop­u­lar­ity drops

The Star Early Edition - - WORLD -

TOKYO: Sup­port for Ja­panese Prime Min­is­ter Shinzo Abe slumped more than 10 points to 44.9% in a pub­lic opin­ion poll pub­lished yes­ter­day, 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 eco­nomic zone.

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