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With dinners canceled, Abe drifts away from public

Japanese leader loses key source of information

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's approval rating saw an 11-point drop in Nikkei's latest survey. (Photo by Uichiro Kasai)

TOKYO -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has tried to make up for gym closures due to the coronavirus pandemic by walking 10,000 steps a day on weekends. He walks around his house in Tomigaya, Shibuya, or inside the prime minister's official residence in central Tokyo.

But one thing the 65-year-old leader has been unable to replace is the dinner meetings with business leaders, news media executives and fellow politicians that he used to cherish as a way to exchange views and gauge public opinion.

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