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Embattled Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced Thursday that he would move up the timetable for taking care of the public pension record-keeping debacle as public fury builds ahead of the crucial House of Councilors election later this month.

The fate of Abe’s Cabinet is believed to hinge on the July 29 election, in which 121, or half, of the Upper House seats are up for grabs. But the pension fiasco, other scandals and gaffes involving his Cabinet ministers have eroded Abe’s public support ratings to their lowest since he took office last September.

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