Scandal hits Japan’s first lady into the spotlight

TOKYO-  Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wife,  first lady Akie Abe, popular among the Japanese population has been thrusted into the spotlight after reports circulated that the plant head of confectionery firm amid favoritism and a cover-up affair has battered the prime minister’s popularity.

Japan’s opposition parties have called for Akie Abe to appear in parliament to explain her links to nationalist school operator that is embroiled in a cronyism scandal.

The school at one point named her a honorary principal, the operator at the managed to get state-owned land at a price well below market value, with the opposition claiming his ties to the Abe family helped the deal to be finalised.

The scandal worsen after it emerged that the finance ministry documents sales had been altered, including deleting her name. The scandal is not the type attention the first lady wanted after she intended rising the profile of Japan’s first lady, as her predecessors shunned the spotlight.

While her husbands fights calls for his resignation, Akie Abe has continued her presence on social media, posting on her Instagram and Facebook account.

Her social media activity once landed her in trouble when she shocked her followers by posting an image of a shirtless man with the word “Akie” and an arrow mark written on his chest. The post was quickly deleted.

Tomoaki Iwai, professor of Japanese politics at Nihon University commented on the problems facing the Abe’s, he said, “She has little awareness of the political significance of her position, while Prime Minister Abe appears to have lost control of her,” he told AFP.

Photo Credit- Wall Street Journal

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