Japan: PM and FM under intense pressure over suspected scandal

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Finance Minister Taro Aso are faced with increasing pressure over an assumed cronyism scandal. Shinzo Abe is now facing heat over fresh shreds of evidence against him on the issue of the sale of state-owned land which was given to a school operator having close links with his wife, at heavy discounts. Abe is currently in the sixth year of power and had hoped the scandal had not resurfaced. However, it is reportedly learnt that the finance ministry had found fresh revelations of some content being deleted from some documents which had been submitted to lawmakers.

Prime Minister Abe has repeatedly denied the allegations of any kind of favours to school operator Moritomo Gakuen who had purchased the land and had stated that he would tender his resignation if any evidence ever surfaced proving his involvement or his family.

Moritomo Gakuen and his wife were arrested last year on the basis of suspicion of receiving illegal subsidies. Police was also investigating the death of the official of the finance ministry whose local office was involved in handling the land deal. Any involvement or even an attempt to cover-up will land Prime Minister Abe in serious trouble and completely wipe out any possibility of his getting into office the third time as the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party.

Abe had come back to power in December 2012 on the pretext of turning the economy around and also ramping up the defence.


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