Left Menu
Development News Edition

UPDATE 1-Japan's Abe sets record as longest-serving PM as allegations of misdeeds persist

Reuters | Tokyo | Updated: 20-11-2019 04:55 IST | Created: 20-11-2019 04:42 IST
UPDATE 1-Japan's Abe sets record as longest-serving PM as allegations of misdeeds persist

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe became Japan's longest-serving premier on Wednesday - a remarkable feat for a leader who once quit in humiliation - amid economic worries and allegations that he violated election laws. Abe, 65, has won relatively high marks for his diplomacy. His warm ties with U.S. President Donald Trump may have averted worst-case scenarios in trade feuds, although little progress has been made on a territorial row with Russia and relations with South Korea are frigid.

"There is no other world leader getting along so well with Trump," said Akihisa Nagashima, a one-time opposition lawmaker who now in Abe's Liberal Democratic Party. Abe, who served a troubled one-year term before quitting in 2007, made a comeback in December 2012, promising a stronger military and a revamped economy while aiming to revise Japan's post-war, pacifist constitution.

Combining earlier and current stints, Wednesday marked Abe's 2,887th day in office, breaking the record set by Taro Katsura more than a century ago. Abe has led his ruling coalition to six national election victories since returning, surviving allegations of cronyism and scandals over falsified data by bureaucrats.

Those victories were aided by a fragmented opposition and memories of the rocky 2009-2012 rule by the novice Democratic Party of Japan, which left many voters longing for stability. "The biggest reason (for his longevity) is that he's better than the DPJ government," Seiko Noda, an LDP lawmaker and potential Abe rival, told Reuters.

But since a cabinet reshuffle in September, two ministers - both close allies of Abe - have had to resign over allegations of election campaign law violations. Now Abe is under fire over accusations he not only favoured supporters with invites to a state-funded cherry blossom viewing party but may have broken campaign laws by subsidising backers' attendance at a reception the night before.

Abe has denied wrongdoing. A Nov. 16-17 Asahi newspaper poll showed 68% were not convinced by his explanations, though his support rating was steady at 44%. Concerns that the economy is headed for recession amid the fading impacts of his "Abenomics" policies also cloud Abe's future. Critics say his third "arrow" of structural reform never flew.


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Turbulence surrounding tobacco control in Ghana

... ...

Smart healthcare: IoT redefining the way healthcare is delivered

As the world is embracing the new wave of digitalization triggered by the pandemic and the arrival of 5G, the adoption of IoT devices will further boom. With adoption set to soar, IoT security issues and other challenges cant be ignored any...

Refugee compassion and response: Ideas to mitigate disasters now and in their future

Their homeland becomes a forbidden territory for them and more likely than not, their journey to foreign soil is no less traumatizing, not to say deadly. It is crucial to help refugees live a life of dignity and purpose....

Inadequate water infrastructure causes a tidal wave of coronavirus in rural Alaska

... ...

Videos

Latest News

China calls launch a success as robotic spacecraft heads to moon

China hailed as a success its pre-dawn launch on Tuesday of a robotic spacecraft to bring back rocks from the moon in the first bid by any country to retrieve lunar surface samples since the 1970s, a mission underscoring Chinese ambitions i...

NFL-Ravens place three players on COVID-19 list

The Baltimore Ravens on Monday said the team had placed running backs Mark Ingram and J.K. Dobbins, as well as defensive tackle Brandon Williams on the ReserveCOVID-19 list ahead of the teams Thanksgiving day showdown with the Pittsburgh St...

Trump campaign says it will continue legal fight after Michigan certification

President Donald Trumps legal team on Monday said it would continue its legal strategy to challenge the results of the 2020 presidential election after Michigan officials certified results showing that President-elect Joe Biden had won thei...

Nebraska police chief defends officers in fatal traffic stop

Omahas police chief said Monday that two officers acted appropriately when a Black man was fatally shot during a Nebraska traffic stop last week because the man repeatedly didnt comply with their commands, but video of the incident wont be ...

Give Feedback