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Abe`s support falls to 39 pc amid scandal doubts

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17th-Mar-2018       
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Reuters, Tokyo :
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's support has fallen 9.4 points to 39.3 percent, a survey by Jiji news agency showed, as suspicion swirls over a suspected cover-up linked to cronyism, Abe's worst crisis since taking office.
Abe and Finance Minister, Taro Aso, 77, have been under fire since the finance ministry said on Monday that it had altered records relating to a discounted sale of state-owned land to a school operator that had ties to Abe's wife, Akie.
Abe and Aso have both denied wrongdoing.
But opposition parties are calling for Aso to resign, while the affair could dash Abe's hopes of winning a third three-year term as head of his Liberal Democratic Party in a September party leadership election. Abe took office in December 2012.
"I believe it is getting clearer that falsification was carried out to erase any trace of documents that lead to Ms Akie Abe," Japanese Communist Party lawmaker Kotaro Tatsumi told a parliamentary committee.
Abe's level of support is lower than the 40.4 percent who do not support him, the first time since October that his support has slipped below the level of those who don't back him, according to the survey, published on Friday.
More than 25 percent of those who did not support Abe in the Jiji survey, conducted between March 9 and March 12, cited a lack of trust in the premier as their reason.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference that while support rates always fluctuate, the government is taking the current fall seriously.

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