• Jiji


Nearly 70 percent of the public thinks Prime Minister Shinzo Abe bears heavy responsibility for appointing a justice minister who was later arrested on suspicion of vote-buying, a survey says.

The July survey by Jiji Press found that 67.9 percent of the respondents view Abe as bearing heavy responsibility for appointing Katsuyuki Kawai, far outnumbering the 18.2 percent who said he does not bear heavy responsibility.

The ratio of those who said the prime minister’s responsibility is neither heavy nor not heavy or do not know, came to 13.8 percent.

Of those who back Abe’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party, 58.6 percent said his responsibility is heavy and 24.1 percent said it is not.

Kawai has been charged with buying votes for his wife, Anri Kawai, for the House of Councilors election last July.

The survey also showed that 46.7 percent of respondents view the government’s decision to withdraw from Aegis Ashore, the U.S. land-based missile defense system, as appropriate.

Those who said it was not appropriate came to 18.8 percent, with 34.5 percent selecting neither appropriate nor not appropriate, or do not know.

The nationwide survey was conducted over four days through Monday and covered 2,000 people over 18, drawing valid answers from 61.5 percent.

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