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Shinzo Abe and the scandal that won't die

Japan's PM unable to silence questions over land sale to nationalist school

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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife, Akie, are embroiled in a scandal involving nationalist school operator Moritomo Gakuen.   © Reuters

TOKYO Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Teflon coating appears to be wearing thin as his government struggles to contain the scandal over a shady land sale to a nationalist school operator.

While support for his cabinet has not yet taken a serious hit, opinion polls reveal growing public dissatisfaction with official explanations as to why Moritomo Gakuen was able to buy government land at one-tenth its market value. At issue is whether the discount of 800 million yen ($7.19 million) was appropriate, and whether any political figures were involved in either the sale or the approval process for the school to be built on the plot. If politicians did play a role and money changed hands, that could be considered graft.

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