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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 March 8 - 14  > What lies behind Abe’s decision to withdraw SDF from South Sudan?
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2017 March 8 - 14 [POLITICS]

What lies behind Abe’s decision to withdraw SDF from South Sudan?

March 11&12, 2017
Prime Minister Abe Shinzo seems to be struggling to weather the ongoing scandal over a cut-price deal on state land for an Osaka-based right-wing school corporation which is closely connected with Abe’s wife.

The school corporation in question, Moritomo Gakuen, on March 10 held a press conference in Osaka and made public that it withdrew its application to the prefectural government for permission to open an elementary school on the purchased state land. At around the same time in Tokyo, PM Abe announced his decision to bring Self-Defense Forces troops in South Sudan back to Japan.

Some journalists pointed out that the coincidence of the two events indicates that PM Abe is desperate to minimize the impact of the Moritomo scandal.

Moritomo Gakuen President Kagoike Yasunori is a member of the Japan Conference (Nippon Kaigi), the rightist organization working to revise the post-war Japanese Constitution, which means that he shares the same ideological perspective as Abe. In regard to the land deal scandal, it has also come to light that Kagoike once established contact with pro-Yasukuni Defense Minister Inada Tomomi. However, PM Abe and his ruling Liberal Democratic Party showed reluctance to fulfill their responsibility to uncover the full picture of the scandal, which evoked further public distrust.

In addition, the government is facing fierce public criticism regarding the defense minister’s explanation about the word “battle” contained in the SDF’s report on the South Sudan situation. Inada in Diet meetings insisted that in the legal sense, there was no “battle” as described in the report.

Surrounded by broad public criticism, Prime Minister Abe certainly feels a sense of crisis. The need is to drive PM Abe into an immediate resignation and the abolition of the war laws.

Past related article:
> JCP Koike conducts on-site inspection of questionable state land deal [March 6, 2017]
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