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'Abexit' fears send chill through Tokyo stock market

Worries over political risk recall 1998 government collapse amid 'lost decade'

Private school operator Moritomo Gakuen is suspected of having benefited from a sweetheart land deal courtesy of Abe's government to build this elementary school near Osaka. (Photo by Konosuke Urata)

TOKYO -- International investors with long memories fear the scandal engulfing Japan's Finance Ministry threatens the political future of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, recalling the setback to economic reforms that followed the downfall of a Japanese government two decades ago.

Kyoya Okazawa at BNP Paribas in Hong Kong has been fielding questions from investors who want to know whether the prime minister might have to resign in an "Abexit," and how such turmoil would affect the government's nomination of Haruhiko Kuroda for a second term as Bank of Japan governor.

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