Cherry blossom

Japan’s cherry blossom scandal has tainted Shinzo Abe’s legacy

Japan may have avoided being locked down this winter, but is its longest serving PM Shinzo Abe about to be locked up? That is the alarming prospect that faces Abe as he struggles to explain his role, and that of his advisors, in a scandal that has beset him in and out of office for over two years. The allegation is that events organised for Abe’s constituents and assorted followers, including cherry blossom viewing parties, held between 2016 and 2018, were subsidised by his support group to the tune of around of around 30 million yen (£210,000 pounds). The undeclared payments, it is claimed, were in contravention of election law.