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Abe cherry blossom scandal stirs up tweet storm of rare intensity

Falling approval suggests Japan PM's aura of invincibility may be fading

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe poses with guests during this past spring's cherry blossom viewing party in Tokyo.    © Reuters

TOKYO -- If Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has a kryptonite, it might prove to be cherry blossoms.

Abe in late November became the country's longest-serving prime minister. But accusations that he used taxpayer-funded cherry blossom viewing parties to reward his political supporters have resonated online like few other scandals, a new study of Twitter activity has found.

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