Abe’s popularity intact, but handling of land scandal questioned: poll


Public support for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has not been significantly shaken by the scandal over alleged influence-peddling in a cut-price land deal, even though a vast majority of respondents to a new Kyodo News poll remain doubtful about his version of events.

The approval rating for his cabinet slipped only to 52.4%, down just 3.3 percentage points from a survey on March 11-12, according to the nationwide telephone survey conducted Saturday and Sunday.

Yet 82.5% of respondents said the government has not done enough to dispel doubts concerning the sale of government land at a huge discount for construction of a school in Osaka, or allegations that Abe donated money to the school operator, the results released Sunday showed.

The disapproval rate for Abe’s cabinet stood at 32.5%.

Only 10.7% believe the government has provided convincing explanations, while 62.6% were “not convinced” with Abe’s denial of any involvement by himself or his wife Akie in the controversial land deal. Just 28.7% said they were convinced neither had any involvement.

Abe on Friday again dismissed accusations that he had donated 1 million yen to nationalist school operator Moritomo Gakuen, after Yasunori Kagoike, its head, repeated the accusation while testifying as a sworn witness in parliament the previous day.

The poll found that 58.7% said they cannot understand the explanation given by Abe, while 30.2% said otherwise.

On whether Akie should testify as a sworn witness in parliament, 52% said the first lady should, against 42.8% who said that was unnecessary.

On other key issues, 38.8% said they support the bill to punish people convicted of planning to carry out serious crimes, up 5.8 points after the cabinet approved the bill last week. Some 40% said they are opposed to the bill, which is similar to legislation which twice before failed to secure passage.

As for whether to allow the Japanese emperor to abdicate, as discussed by a government panel, 57.4% said they support revising the Imperial House Law to permanently allow emperors to relinquish the throne, while 34.6% are in favor of enacting legislation allowing only Japan’s current monarch, Emperor Akihito, to abdicate.

Asked about a proposal recently compiled as a Diet consensus and calling on the government to prepare such one-off legislation, 56.2% said they are in favor, while 34.9% are opposed.

By party, Abe’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party remained dominant with 42.4% backing it, down just 1.4 points from the previous survey.

The support rating for the main opposition Democratic Party stood at 8.8%, and for Komeito, the LDP’s junior coalition partner, at 3.8%.

The survey covered 1,460 randomly selected households with eligible voters nationwide, with valid responses collected from 1,018 people.



Australia: Muslim leader says people who leave Islam should be put to death

“EXCLUSIVE: Days after the carnage in London, this is the moment we catch a firebrand Islamist leader on camera saying all former Muslims should be put to DEATH… in Sydney on Saturday night,” by Stephen Johnson, Daily Mail Australia, March 27, 2017 (thanks to The Religion of Peace):

A leader of a hardline Islamist group which campaigns for sharia law says Muslims who leave the religion should be put to death.

Hizb ut-Tahrir spokesman Uthman Badar was frank when asked about the group’s policy at a forum in Bankstown, in Sydney’s south-west, on Saturday night.

‘The ruling for apostates as such in Islam is clear, that apostates attract capital punishment and we don’t shy away from that,’ Badar said in the presence of children. An apostate is someone who decides to leave Islam.

Hizb ut-Tahrir Australia removed references to that apostasy policy from its website as Alison Bevege, a freelance journalist, sued the group for making her to sit in a women’s-only section at a separate talk in October 2014.

On Saturday night, Ms Bevege held up a printed copy of Hizb ut-Tahrir’s draft constitution of the khilafah state published on the UK site, which was on the group’s Australian website until 2015.

This outlines their vision for a global Islamic caliphate, which has Muslims and non-Muslims living under sharia law.

She asked about their policy of killing people born as Muslims who leave the faith.

Hizb-ut Tahrir is a hardline Islamist group which seeks the establishment of a global caliphate, or empire.

The extremist group is said to reject democracy, secularism and all Western models of state.

Former prime minister Tony Abbott called for the group to be shut down in 2014, but the ban was never put in place.

A spokeswoman for Justice Michael Keenan told Daily Mail Australia the ‘execution’ matter had been referred to the Federal Police.

The organisation is banned in a number of Muslim-majority countries.

Article 7c of the document said: ‘Those who are guilty of apostasy (murtadd) from Islam are to be executed according to the rule of apostasy, provided they have by themselves renounced Islam.’

Badar initially responded by saying the policy wasn’t on its website before explaining how the group’s apostasy policy was compatible with Islam.

‘The whole thing covers different aspects of Islamic sharia law,’ he said.

‘The role of apostasy in Islam is very clear. Again, this is one of the things the West doesn’t like and seeks to change the role of apostasy.’ …