Prospects of Abe third term dim
TOKYO: Just a few months ago, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe looked to be cruising to a third term that would make him Japan’s longest serving leader and put him on track to achieving his dream of revising its post-war, pacifist constitution.
But suspicions he may have helped a friend get favoured for a business deal, then rammed legislation through parliament to close the session and end debate over the issue, have led to a slump in support.
A metropolitan assembly election in Tokyo on July 2 could give clues on the stability of his administration – a key concern for global investors.
“Things are unravelling fast for Abe and his inner circle,” said Gerry Curtis, a professor emeritus at Columbia University. “I still put my money on Abe getting a third term, but I am willing to wager much less.”
Abe is accused of intervening to help his friend Kotaro Kake, director of Kake Gakuen (an educational institution), win approval for a veterinary school in a special economic zone. The government has not granted such approval in decades.
Abe denies doing Kake any favours. Reuters