>> A top level scandal has put Japan's leader in the hot seat. Shinzo Abe poll numbers hit historic lows on Monday, his popularity plummeting after a revealing report emerged last week. It suggests documents in a controversial land deal were doctored to remove his name. He's taking responsibility for a loss of trust in his government.
But denies, he intervened in the heavily discounted sale to a school operator linked to his wife. The scandal has been simmering for about a year now and until the latest evidence, he's managed to hang onto power. But as Reuters Linda Seed reports, now Abe's hopes of running for a third term may be at risk.
>> He's cutting kinda a fine line. Previously, when this came up, last year the same scandal, very forcefully denied doing anything wrong. He's still denying doing anything wrong, but it would appear that he is trying to avoid the mistake that he made last year. Which was that many people saw him as looking arrogant in his denials.
And saw him as looking complaisant as if he had no challenges and there was no threat. And he didn't really have to care what people thought. Now he appears to think he has to take in to account what the publics view is.>> It sparked an uproar in Japan with protests by the hundreds in Tokyo throughout last week.
People have been calling for Abe's resignation. According to several opinion polls published over the weekend, the majority of Japanese think he bares some responsibility for the scandal. Other polls showed Abe's support sinking to about 30%. Many are calling for the official who headed the division that submitted the sale documents, to testify in parliament, along with Abe's wife.