Shinzo Abe’s Year in Power
September 12, 2007 5:11 a.m.
Less than a year after he was elected prime minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe resigned Wednesday. Here’s a look back at the events that marked his tenure:
Sept. 12, 2007: Abe announces he will resign as Japanese prime minister.
Sept. 9, 2007: Abe says he is ready to resign if Parliament fails to extend a mission to refuel U.S.-led coalition warships in the Indian Ocean.
Sept. 5, 2007: Environment Minister Ichiro Kamoshita and his political-fund-management group come under fire over an ¥8 million ($69,000) discrepancy in records of loans from the lawmaker to the group declared in fund reports in the 1990s. Kamoshita denies any ill intent, and Abe and other government officials rally to his defense.
Sept. 3, 2007: Agriculture minister Takehiko Endo resigns only a week after his appointment because of a scandal involving misuse of farm subsidies.
Aug. 27, 2007: Abe starts his campaign to bounce back from an election defeat by selecting older, more experienced cabinet ministers, many of whom served in the administration of Junichiro Koizumi, Abe’s predecessor.
Aug. 1, 2007: Agriculture minister Norihiko Akagi steps down to take responsibility for a major electoral defeat for the ruling party. Akagi is suspected of reporting $730,000 in office expenses over the past decade for a political office that was registered at his parents’ address and was defunct. Akagi has denied any wrongdoing.
July 29, 2007: Just 10 months after Abe takes office, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party loses its majority in the Upper House. Despite the electoral defeat, Abe says he would remain in office.
July 3, 2007: Japan’s defense minister, Fumio Kyuma, resigns after he offended many Japanese with remarks about the 1945 U.S. atom-bomb attacks. Kyuma had said in a speech that the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which together killed more than 200,000 people, were inevitable.
May 28, 2007: Agriculture Minister Toshikatsu Matsuoka hangs himself just hours before he is to face questioning over alleged bookkeeping fraud.
March 26, 2007: Abe, under fire for denying that Japan forced women to work as sex slaves during World War II, offers an apology but refuses to clearly acknowledge Japan’s responsibility for running the frontline brothels.
Jan. 9, 2007: Japan’s conservative government upgrades the Defense Agency to a full ministry for the first time since World War II as part of Abe’s push to raise the military’s profile.
Dec. 27, 2006: Minister for administrative reforms Genichiro Sata resigns after admitting that a political support group had engaged in fraudulent accounting. Abe chooses Yoshimi Watanabe, a cabinet vice-minister, to replace Sata.
Dec. 21, 2006: The head the government’s tax panel, Masaaki Homma, resigns amid an outcry over his use of a plush government apartment to house his mistress.
Sept 26, 2006: Shinzo Abe, the leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, is elected prime minister of Japan. He announces a cabinet lineup that indicates he will follow many of the policies of his predecessor, Junichiro Koizumi.