Former Abe aide to front Japanese lawmakers as cronyism scandal plagues PM

Former Abe aide to front Japanese lawmakers as cronyism scandal plagues PM

Today, Japan’s parliament will question Tadao Yanase, a former aide to PM Shinzo Abe, over his role in an alleged

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Photo: AP

Today, Japan’s parliament will question Tadao Yanase, a former aide to PM Shinzo Abe, over his role in an alleged cronyism scandal that has beset the Japanese leader in recent months.

The premier has been accused of being knowledgeable of a state land sale to help a personal friend establish a veterinary school. Mr Abe has denied involvement as Parliament continues to investigate.

Mr Yanase previously denied meeting with representatives from the school, but has suggested he intends on “changing” his story now that lawmakers have officially subpoenaed him.

With the scandal still under investigation, PM Abe’s policy agenda regarding monetary matters, fiscal reform and constitutional reform is in jeopardy if he is proven culpable and his premiership ends.

Take note of three factors in determining how the scandal could impact Mr Abe’s agenda: first the amount of time Parliament takes away from other major items on its agenda –like the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the budget for the next fiscal year– and devotes to the scandal instead; second, how Mr Abe’s approval rating changes as the scandal continues to develop; and third, if Mr Yanase’s testimony today leads to a direct implication of Mr Abe himself.

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