Shigeru Ishiba, for one, clearly believes that the Abe regime is just about finished. This is not the kind of statement one makes if you expect your party leader to have three more years in power.
A scandal centered on allegations that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe improperly wielded his influence to help a close friend cut through government red tape has roared back to life after seeming to have died down last year.
And this time, Abe appears to be in a far more difficult position. Multiple public documents — produced by different parties — have emerged. Together they boost the credibility of allegations of favoritism benefiting school operator Kake Gakuen.
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.