Left Menu
Development News Edition

Japan's Abe becomes longest serving PM as scandal allegations persist

Reuters | Tokyo | Updated: 20-11-2019 07:36 IST | Created: 20-11-2019 07:32 IST
Japan's Abe becomes longest serving PM as scandal allegations persist

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe became Japan's longest-serving premier on Wednesday, a remarkable feat for a leader who once quit in humiliation, but the day was marred by questions about possible election law violations and worries about the economy.

Abe, 65, who served his first term for just one year 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. Pointing to such challenges as Japan's aging population and constitutional revision - a divisive topic - Abe vowed to push ahead in the last two years of his term as Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) leader, which ends in September 2021.

"I want to tackle policy issues with my heart and soul, with a sense of treading on thin ice and staying on my toes, not forgetting the spirit with which I began," Abe told reporters. Abe 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 scant progress has been made on a territorial row with Russia and relations with South Korea are frigid.

Wednesday marked Abe's 2,887th day in office over his two stints as prime minister. That broke 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 unpleasant memories of the rocky 2009-2012 rule by the novice Democratic Party of Japan. But since a cabinet reshuffle in September, two ministers - both close allies of Abe - have resigned over allegations of election campaign law violations.

Now Abe is under fire over accusations he not only favored supporters with invites to a state-funded cherry blossom viewing party but may have broken campaign laws by subsidizing backers' attendance at a reception the night before. Abe has denied wrongdoing. On Wednesday, he said that it was up to the public to assess his accountability but that he would answer more questions in parliament.

A Nov. 16-17 Asahi newspaper poll showed 68% weren't convinced by his explanations, though support was steady at 44%. Concerns the economy is headed for recession also cloud Abe's future. Japan's exports tumbled at their quickest pace in three years in October amid weakening demand from the United States and China.



South Africa's COVID-19 response: Surprising outcomes or just poor data management?

South Africa has been committed to improving its health information system and shows that a robust digital has considerable scope to improve healthcare for the entire population. But the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted that significant ga...

Post-COVID-19 Nigeria needs a robust Health Management Information System to handle high disease burden

Nigeria is among a few countries that conceptualised a health management information system HMIS in the early 90s but implementation has been a challenge till date. Besides COVID-19, the country has a huge burden of communicable and non-com...

Morocco COVID-19 response: A fragile health system and the deteriorating situation

Learning from its European neighbors, Morocco imposed drastic measures from the initial stages of the COVID-19 outbreak to try to contain its spread. The strategy worked for a few months but the cases have surged after mid-June. In this sit...

COVID-19: Argentina’s health system inefficiencies exaggerate flaws of health information system

You can recover from a drop in the GDP, but you cant recover from death, was the straightforward mindset of Argentinas President Alberto Fernndez and defined the countrys response to COVID-19. The South American nation imposed a strict...


Latest News

BMW registers non-profit company for corporate citizenship projects in India

German luxury carmaker BMW on Wednesday announced the registration of a non-profit company - BMW India Foundation - to plan, implement and oversee all corporate citizenship projects of the automotive group in India. The group firm comprises...

FAA chief Dickson to put Boeing 737 MAX to the test

Federal Aviation Administration FAA Chief Steve Dickson is due to conduct a two-hour evaluation flight at the controls of a Boeing 737 MAX on Wednesday, a key milestone for the jet to win approval to resume flying after two fatal crashes.Di...

Fire at Bank of Baroda branch in Mangaluru

A fire broke out at the office of a nationalised bank at Hampankatta in the city early on Wednesday, police sources said. However, no one was injured.The fire was noticed at around 5.30 in the morning at the main branch of Bank of Baroda he...

HC declines to entertain PIL against Twitter over anti-India tweets; says approach Centre first

The Delhi High Court Wednesday declined to entertain a PIL seeking action against social media platform Twitter for being allegedly involved in conspiracy to promote anti-India propaganda such as Khalistan movement, saying the plea was base...

Give Feedback