Pension Flub Could Doom Japanese PM

Government loses track of 64M checks, enraging voters
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 14, 2007 1:31 PM CDT
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, second left, and Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, smile as Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula de Silva, second right, and European Commission President Jose...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – A pension scandal rocking Japan threatens to bring down the ruling party, and it could take PM Shinzo Abe with it. Sixty-four million pension payments—in a country of 130 million—have gone missing, and that's riling Japan's growing gray-haired population. The pensioners may pay Abe back with a vote for the opposition in next month's elections, reports the Economist.

The scandal is creating chaos in Japan, where thousands flooded government-run information booths last weekend to learn whether their pensions were affected. “This is just like a fraud!” one man told the Japan Times after hearing his records were gone. What's more, the meltdown has yet to affect legislators, already under fire for their generous pension packages.