Japan: charges dropped in cronyism scandal threatening to bring down Shinzo Abe

Charges against 38 officials dropped over government land deal but opposition parties pledge to keep investigating

Dozens of Japanese officials have escaped charges over a cronyism scandal that threatened prime minister Shinzo Abe’s grip on power.

The scandal relates to the finance ministry’s sale of public land at a huge discount to a nationalistic school operator with links to the prime minister’s wife, Akie, and subsequent tampering with official records about the arrangement.

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