Abe's rocky year in power

The highs and lows of Shinzo Abe's year as Japan's prime minister.

     

    Abe was Japan's youngest post-war prime minister [EPA]

     

    The highs and lows of Shinzo Abe's year as Japan's prime minister:

     

    September 26, 2006: Shinzo Abe elected prime minister with about 60 per cent support.

    October 8-9, 2006: Abe meets Chinese and South Korean leaders to mend ties over visits to Yasukuni war shrine by his predecessor.

     

    December 21: Tax chief Masaaki Homma resigns after reports surfaced about him living with a mistress in an upscale government-subsidised apartment.

     

    December 27: Administrative reform minister Genichiro Sata quits after some political supporters filed "inappropriate" financial statements.

     

    January 27, 2007: Another scandal erupts as health minister Hakuo Yangisawa refers to women "birth-giving machines". He later apologises following public outrage and calls for resignation.

     

    March 5: Abe denies there is proof Japan kidnapped women to become sex slaves during World War Two, drawing widespread criticism from Japan and around the world.

     

    May 28: More scandal hits Abe's cabinet as farm minister Toshikatsu Matsuoka hangs himself after a series of funding scandals.

     

    June 15: Abe's support ratings falls below 30 per cent for first time since becoming PM.

     

    July 3: Defence minister Fumio Kyuma resigns days after saying the 1945 Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings "couldn't be helped".

     

    August 1: Another farm minister Norihiko Akagi resigns after denying he fudged financial statements for a defunct political support group.

     

    July 29: Election defeat sees Abe's Liberal Democratic Party loses its upper house majority.

     

    September 3: Takehiko Endo, the third farm minister in Abe's government, resigns over illegal dealings at a farmer's group he headed.

     

    September 9: Abe he suggests he will stake his job on winning backing for a continuation of Japanese naval support to US-led military operations in Afghanistan.

     

    September 12: Abe announces his resignation.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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