Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Friday, April 26th, 2019

Scandal Clouds Darken For Japan’s Abe Ahead Of Trump Summit

Scandal Clouds Darken For Japan’s  Abe Ahead Of Trump Summit

TOKYO - A cronyism scandal embroiling the Japanese prime minister deepened on Tuesday ahead of a summit with U.S. President Donald Trump with a memo media said suggested an ex-aide had helped win approval for a friend of the premier to set up a veterinary school. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ratings have been hit by several scandals over suspected favouritism and cover-ups, raising questions about how long he can stay in power and his goal of revising Japan’s post-war, pacifist constitution. His domestic troubles are mounting ahead of the meeting with Trump next week and an expected onslaught over Japan’s trade policies. The Asahi newspaper said that a former Abe aide, TadaoYanase, had told local authorities in 2015 that a plan by Abe’s friend for a veterinary school in a government-designated deregulation zone was a “prime ministerial matter” and they should work hard to realise it. Abe has denied that he ever instructed officials to give preferential treatment to his friend, Kotaro Kake, the director of school operator KakeGakuen, who wanted to open the school - Japan’s first new veterinary school in more than 50 years. Yanase, now a senior official at the Ministry of Economic, Trade and Industry, said in a statement he had no memory of meeting authorities in Ehime prefecture or the city of Imabari to discuss the project. (Reuters)