Japan’s Abe administration faces growing criticism after high-profile resignations

Global Business

The recent resignation of two key ministers under Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has led to renewed criticism of the Abe administration and could affect the fate of Japan’s energy policy. CCTV America’s Terrence Terashima reports.

Japan's Abe administration faces growing criticism after high-profile resignations

The recent resignation of two key ministers under Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has led to renewed criticism of the Abe administration and could affect the fate of Japan's energy policy. CCTV America's Terrence Terashima reports.

Japan’s trade minister and justice minister resigned last week after allegations they misused campaign funds in the biggest setback so far for Abe’s conservative administration. The two ministers were among five women Abe named to his Cabinet in a reshuffle early last month.

Yuko Obuchi, daughter of a former prime minister and a rising star in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, resigned as trade minister, saying she needed to focus on an investigation into discrepancies in accounting for election funds. She did not acknowledge any wrongdoing. Hours later, Justice Minister Midori Matsushima resigned after the opposition Democratic Party of Japan filed a criminal complaint against her over distribution of hand-held fans or “uchiwa.” Matsushima also faces complaints over using parliament-provided housing while keeping security guards at her private residence in downtown Tokyo.

Obuchi’s replacement, Yoichi Miyazawa, is also facing criticism over misuse of political funds.

The situation has been nightmare revisited for Abe. His first premiership ended abruptly after number of ministers resigned over money scandals.

The news comes as Abe was hoping to turn the tide of his receding support and hopes to restart the first of the dormant nuclear power plants early next year. There are concerns about whether the Abe administration can cope with clean up at Fukushima and ensure the safety of plants if they are restarted.

When it comes to nuclear issues, distrust remain strong.

“The government is downplaying the continuing severe situation in Fukushima. Only releasing information on topics that are on public interest, such as restarting the dormant plants. It tries to limit the information flow,” said Masashi Goto, a former nuclear power plant designer.

Report complied with information from the Associated Press.