Land Deal Scandal in Japan Dents Abe’s Reputation, but Will He Survive?

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife, Akie Abe, step off of Air Force One as they arrive in West Palm Beach, Fla., Feb. 10, 2017 (AP photo by Wilfredo Lee).
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife, Akie Abe, step off of Air Force One as they arrive in West Palm Beach, Fla., Feb. 10, 2017 (AP photo by Wilfredo Lee).
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A political storm is brewing in Tokyo over revelations last month that officials permitted the sale of government-owned land at a much-reduced price to a right-wing nationalist school group, Moritomo Gakuen. The head of the foundation, Yasunori Kagoike, was allowed to purchase the two-acre plot of land in Osaka for about $1.2 million—a figure far below its assessed value of approximately $8.3 million. The scandal has since snowballed with the release of information that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s wife, Akie Abe, was an honorary principal of the planned elementary school in Osaka and allegations that she donated 1 million yen—about […]

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