Japan's leader Shinzō Abe stuck to denial on Wednesday, even while facing new questions over several scandals. He appeared in Parliament to square off with lawmakers into questions over recent allegations. One of them accuses Abe of giving preferential treatment to a friend who set up a veterinary school.
The Prime Minister's public support has taken a hit over this and other suspicions. How events play out may signal whether or not he steps down. Reuters' Linda Sieg is following the story from Tokyo.>> The big question for today was whether Abe had consulted with his friend about his proposal to set up this new school.
Whether he knew about the proposal before the plan was actually approved. Abe has previously said in Parliament that he only found out about the plan in January of last year when it was approved. Some people find this hard to believe, since he frequently plays golf with his friend, or has meals with him, meets him for dinner.
>> The vet scandal is one of two that emerged last year, causing Abe's ratings to drop below 30%, a dangerous level. He's also denied that he or his wife meddled in a discounted land deal, linked to another school operator who had ties to Abe's wife. Since then, his popularity has recovered slightly to just under 40% in recent weeks.
But with the constant talk of fresh allegations, it might not be there for long.>> If they find a smoking gun that shows that Abe did in fact directly intervene to get favors for his friends or acquaintances. They wouldn't necessarily be illegal, what he may have done, but it would be extremely damaging for him.
> All troubling news for Abe as he eyes a third term as Premier in a September vote.>>