Lawmakers accuse Japan PM of false denial in school scandal

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is being questioned in Parliament about a cronyism scandal after opposition lawmakers alleged he testified falsely a day earlier when he denied using his influence to help a friend.

Parliament has heard allegations from lower-level staffers and gathered documents that show Abe’s office intervened to help Kotaro Kake to open a new veterinary school in western Japan. Parliament is continuing to question Abe about his personal role Tuesday.

On Monday he repeatedly denied using his influence and said he learned of his friend’s plans only after Kake formally applied in January.

Opposition lawmakers say it’s unthinkable Abe was unaware of a years-old plan that other officials knew.

Abe is expected to reshuffle his cabinet after scandals and railroading of unpopular legislation sank his approval ratings.

Associated Press