A shoo-in a few months ago, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s plunge in popularity imperils his re-election to a third term as LDP president in September 2018, fueling speculation about when he will go and who will replace him. That said, it’s still too soon to count him out.

It’s astounding that 83 percent of the public in a recent Asahi poll don’t believe the prime minster’s denials of cronyism regarding the special exemption granted an old friend, Kotaro Kake, to open up the nation’s first veterinary school in half a century. Whether or not Abe is fibbing, few seem to believe him and his public support rate has cratered by 20 points from earlier this year.

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