Left Menu
Development News Edition

In blow to Japan's Abe, Tokyo top prosecutor set to resign -media

Reuters | Tokyo | Updated: 21-05-2020 14:14 IST | Created: 21-05-2020 14:01 IST
In blow to Japan's Abe, Tokyo top prosecutor set to resign -media
File photo

Tokyo's top prosecutor was set to resign after a report that he gambled illegally during Japan's coronavirus state of emergency, media said on Thursday, in another blow to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe whose support has waned over his handling of the pandemic. Tokyo High Public Prosecutors Office chief Hiromu Kurokawa, who is seen as close to Abe, has been at the center of a furor over the government's efforts to raise the retirement age for prosecutors after he was allowed to stay in his post beyond the retirement age of 63.

Abe's government this week abandoned its push to enact a bill during the current session of parliament that would raise prosecutors' retirement age to 65 from 63, and let the cabinet defer retirement of senior prosecutors for a further three years, a step critics said threatened judicial independence. Opposition party lawmakers and others also said the legislation was aimed at giving a retroactive legal basis to the decision to keep Kurokawa in his post.

In the latest twist, Kurokawa was hit with a social media backlash over a media report that he allegedly played mahjong for money during the state of emergency, possibly flouting social distancing guidelines. Gambling is illegal in Japan, with some exceptions.

Abe told reporters the government was trying to confirm the facts of the matter. "Naturally, there will be criticism (over Kurokawa)," independent political analyst Atsuo Ito said. "Certainly, it will be damaging."

Also on Thursday, about 660 lawyers and scholars filed a complaint with Tokyo prosecutors seeking an investigation into whether Abe and two executives of his political support group broke campaign and funding laws by subsidizing the attendance of backers at a reception the night before a state-funded cherry blossom viewing party in 2018, Kyodo news agency reported. Abe has denied wrongdoing. He was also accused by opposition lawmakers last year of favoring supporters with invitations to the cherry blossom viewing party.

Public support for Abe has slipped over what critics say is his clumsy handling of the coronavirus outbreak, which has tipped the world's third-largest economy into recession. Abe was set to lift the state of emergency in more regions on Thursday as new infections decline, acting to resume sorely needed economic activity.

Japan has not suffered the explosive surge of infections seen in many other countries, with 16,433 confirmed cases including 784 deaths as of Wednesday, according to NHK.


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Why COVID-19 is unstoppable in USA despite it being ranked at the top of GHS Index?

Several worst-hit countries such as Italy, France, Spain, the UK, Canada, and Russia have peaked COVID-19 cases in April. Almost all of them have gradually flattened the curve. However, the USA is setting new daily records of infections tha...

COVID-19 seems cooking biggest ever global scam

The increasing number of corruption cases on COVID-19 funds from throughout the world and involvement of high profile persons indicate that the countries cant ignore corruption in their pandemic response programs. This has generated the nee...

Health Management Information Systems lack holistic, integrated, and pandemic resilient character

Being a part of the United Nations system, the World Health Organization WHO deserves its share of rebuke for its alleged failure issue COVID-19 health emergency alerts on appropriate time. However, the pandemic has also exposed loopholes i...

Pride in the time of coronavirus: a welcome move online?

This year is different in many ways not least as celebrations are also taking place against the dramatic backdrop of a global health crisis and a resurgence in grassroots activism following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. ...

Videos

Latest News

US general sees smaller but enduring troop presence in Iraq

Six months after a deadly American airstrike in Baghdad enraged Iraqis and fueled demands to send all US troops home, the top US general for the Middle East is talking optimistically about keeping a smaller, but enduring military presence t...

US announces new visa restrictions on China over access to Tibet

The US has announced new visa bans on senior Chinese officials involved in restricting access to foreigners to the sensitive region of Tibet and reaffirmed its support for meaningful autonomy for Tibetans, opening another point of friction ...

NY state penalises Deutsche Bank USD 150M for Epstein dealings

Deutsche Bank has agreed to pay USD 150 million to settle claims that it broke compliance rules in its dealings with the late sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, New York state announced Tuesday. The penalty was announced in a release by Superint...

CM Kejriwal seeks report from health secy on COVID-19 deaths

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has sought a detailed analytical report from the Delhi governments health secretary on factors responsible for COVID-19 deaths in the city in the last fortnight, officials said. Delhi reported 736 deaths in th...

Give Feedback