As many as 50,000 people protested outside Japan’s Diet, or parliament, in Tokyo on Saturday, April 14, demanding the resignation of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Many, including Abe’s mentor and former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, believe that Abe should stand down at the end of the current session of Japan’s Diet, which ends on June 20, amid allegations of corruption. The demonstrations were the largest the country had seen in over three years. As public opinion continues to turn against Abe, additional protests against Abe's administration may occur in coming weeks.
Abe’s poll numbers have steadily declined in recent months as he has battled allegations of corruption. One poll conducted over the weekend indicates that his approval rating dropped 5.4 percentage points in the past two weeks alone. Allegations have persisted that Abe’s government gave discounts in land sales to two education institutions linked to associates of Abe and his wife and then tried to cover up the links. Additionally, the Finance Ministry has recently been hit with allegations that its vice Finance Minister, Junichi Fukuda, had been sexually harassing female journalists on a regular basis.
Individuals in Japan are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all protests and demonstrations as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.