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Shinzo Abe cancels government-funded cherry-blossom event

Opposition questions whether prime minister uses party to favor supporters

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe runs to greet guests during a cherry blossom party at Shinjuku Gyoen park in Tokyo in April.   © Reuters

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has decided to cancel a controversial publicly funded cherry-blossom event next year amid mounting criticism that he has previously used it to entertain his supporters, the top government spokesman said Wednesday.

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