Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was quick to abandon two scandal-tainted ministers.

He didn't even try to persuade Yuko Obuchi and Midori Matsushima to remain trade and industry minister and justice minister, letting them step down Monday, a mere five days after a financial scandal surfaced against Obuchi.

Abe may have in mind the nightmare he suffered as prime minister in 2006 and 2007: three ministers were forced to step down and another committed suicide over scandals involving their alleged misuse of political funds.