April 16, 2018
Oh, another right-wing world leader under assault.
President Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will have something new to bond over when they meet at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida on Tuesday: how to weather a storm of relentless political onslaughts.
Both are embroiled in controversies surrounding dodgy financial deals, but while Trump’s poll numbers are holding up, Abe’s have plummeted to record lows.
The Japanese leader is flailing so badly that former prime minister Junichiro Koizumi has suggested that he should stand down at the end of June to avoid tainting the entire Liberal Democratic Party.
“When the current Diet term ends, that would be a good time for Abe to resign. No third term for him as the party president,” Koizumi, who was prime minister from 2001 to 2006, said in an interview published by the weekly magazine Aera on Monday.
The current session in Japan’s Diet, or parliament, will end June 20.
Yes, even their parliament is called “Diet.”
Their whole culture surrounds keeping fit.
The scandals percolating around Abe will affect next year’s Upper House election, the former prime minister said. “Candidates will get anxious if they have to go into an election with Abe.”
Polls published Monday showed Abe’s steadily tanking ratings have fallen further in recent days. One, from the Nippon News Network, put his approval rating at 26.7 percent, almost four points down from March and the first time it has fallen into the 20s since Abe returned as prime minister in 2012.
Other polls put Abe in the 30s, but this is a far cry from the support levels in the 60s he was receiving at the beginning of last year.
As many as 50,000 people protested outside the Diet over the weekend, calling Abe a liar and urging him to resign.
Abe was pushing to tear down a bunch of post-war legal traps that were keeping Japan down.
He was going to rebuild the military, which would allow the US military to move out of the country.
I’m not surprised to see him “embroidered with scandal.”
The scandals themselves are very run of the mill corruption accusations of various deals that have nothing to do with politics.
Who knows, maybe he did it. I don’t closely follow Japanese politics.
But it sure seems shady.