Free Press Journal

Abe may resign in June, says ex-Japan PM


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Tokyo : Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is likely to resign in June over two cronyism scandals that sent his approval ratings to an all-time low and risk damaging his partys fortunes in the 2019 elections, former leader Junichiro Koizumi told a weekly magazine.

Koizumi, who was Prime Minister from 2001-06, told Aera magazine published on Monday that Abe has found himself in a “dangerous” situation over the scandals. “Won’t Abe resign around the time the parliamentary session ends (on June 20)?”

The Prime Minister’s popularity hit a record low of 26.7 per cent in a survey conducted by Nippon TV, while according to Asahi’s survey it fell by 31 per cent, the lowest in more than five years of Abe’s term, much lower than April 2013, when his rating peaked at 65.7 per cent.

His popularity plunged more than 10 points, after his Finance Minister had admitted in March that his ministry had faked documents related to the sale of state-owned land at around one-tenth of its price to a private educational institution, with alleged links to the Prime Minister and his wife, Akie Abe.