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An article run Monday by the Yomiuri Shimbun raised suspicions that an orchestrated smear campaign is underway to intimidate Kihei Maekawa, the former bureaucrat who is backing up the opposition’s claims about the Kake Gakuen scandal dogging Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The story said that former administrative vice education minister Kihei Maekawa frequented a shady dating bar in the Kabukicho district in Tokyo’s Shinjuku Ward for a few years until around the end of last year.

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