You are here: Home » PTI Stories » National » News
Business Standard

Japan cronyism scandal hitting Abe popularity: poll

AFP  |  Tokyo 

Japan's ministry is poised today to admit to doctoring key documents related to a favouritism scandal Shinzo Abe, as a new poll suggested the affair is hitting the prime minister's popularity.

Abe and his minister face mounting pressure over the scandal, which has resurfaced in recent days with allegations that officials altered key evidence to parliament.

The scandal emerged last year and concerns the sale of land to a close friend of Abe at a price said to be around one tenth of its normal value.

Opposition politicians have alleged the buyer of the land -- a right-wing operator of private schools -- was able to clinch the sale at such a favourable price because of his ties to the Abe family.

Abe appeared to have ridden out the storm but the scandal has hit the headlines again, with the ministry expected to admit some key passages in the land sale documents were removed before being presented to MPs.

The original documents included the names of several politicians, which were deleted before being submitted to lawmakers, mass circulation and other media reported today.

The has reported the documents were doctored to be "coherent" with a speech made in parliament by the Nobuhisa Sagawa, who stepped down on Friday over the scandal.

"It is possible that Sagawa ordered the alterations," the newspaper said, citing government sources.

Aso is also under fire over the scandal although the insisted on Friday he had no plans to resign.

Adding to the pressure, a linked to the scandal was found dead on Friday, although it is not clear if the reported suicide is linked to the affair.

Abe has consistently denied any wrongdoing and vowed to resign if he was found to be involved in the land deal.

But a poll released published today in the showed his support dropping by six percentage points from last month to 48 per cent, the first reading under 50 per cent since winning re-election in October.

Eight out of 10 voters said the government was not responding appropriately to the allegations, according to the survey conducted over the weekend among 1,036 voters.

The allegations have also paralysed parliament in recent days, with some opposition lawmakers boycotting debates.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, March 12 2018. 07:15 IST
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU