Most Japanese think PM Abe bears responsibility for scandal: polls

21 March, 2018, 08:23 | Author: Mable Gonzales
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"It's clear from the documents that neither I nor my wife played any role", he said of the released papers, which included sections deleted by ministry officials before they were shown to lawmakers past year. He has even vowed to step down as prime minister if the facts proved otherwise.

A ruling party source told Reuters this was so he can address parliament on Monday about the scandal.

Abe on Monday again denied that he or his wife, Akie, were involved with the land sale or document-tampering, and called on the finance ministry to carry out a thorough inquiry and to restore trust.

Abe answers questions about the scandal.

Sagawa was director general of the ministry's Financial Bureau when officials at the bureau manipulated related documents after a huge discount sale of state-owned land to private school operator Moritomo Gakuen came to light in February 2017.

Japanese PM Shinzo Abe saw his support tumble as public anger continues to rise over cronyism.

Outside the prime minister's office, thousands of protesters have gathered nearly every day, demanding that Abe step down. It said it gave the false information as the school operator along with the government had demanded it do so. She was supposed to serve as honorary principal before resigning the position over the scandal.

The agreement to summon Sagawa puts an end to a gridlock in parliament over the document scandal and means the budget for the upcoming fiscal year is likely to be passed before the end of the month. This has sparked allegations of a high-level cover-up.

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Aso has blamed the alterations on "some staff members" at the ministry.

The head of the bureau resigned to take responsibility, and a second finance official in Osaka was found dead in an apparent suicide linked to the scandal.

What does Mr Abe say?

Abe has denied any wrongdoing and has openly said that he would resign if him or his wife were found to be personally involved in the land deal.

"It's notable how people are trying to force responsibility onto Sagawa and those below him", Yuichiro Tamaki, who leads the center-right opposition Kibo no To, or Party of Hope, told reporters Tuesday.

Asked about the sharp drop in his Cabinet's approval ratings in the latest polls conducted by news organizations including the Mainichi Shimbun, the prime minister only stated, "I'm just going to do what I'm supposed to without reacting nervously to every little thing".

The opposition bloc went on the offensive, seemingly encouraged by the Cabinet's plummeting public support rates in several opinion polls over the weekend.

As per certain media reports, Akie Abe had facilitated Kagoike to purchase the land illegally at a lower price thus inviting charges under cronyism which includes partially awarding jobs and other political advantages to the relatives.



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