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Abe faces pitfalls of invincibility as public grows wary

Controversial legislation, brewing scandal damage support for Japanese cabinet

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks to reporters after pushing a controversial crime bill through the Diet.

TOKYO -- Parliamentary acrobatics used to ram through Japan's anti-conspiracy bill could deepen a public backlash against heavy-handed politicking by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has repeatedly taken advantage of his ruling party's dominance to advance similarly controversial legislation.

In a tactic that angered the opposition and the public alike, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and coalition partner Komeito bypassed a committee vote on the anti-conspiracy bill and brought it before the full upper house for a vote early Thursday morning. The bill turned into law at the end of an all-night legislative marathon. This highly unusual maneuver smacked of disregard for democratic procedures as the public saw a leader exploiting a legislative majority to advance an agenda. 

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