J.League Wrap: Urawa move top as Antlers slip up
Abe struck after 79 minutes to hand Urawa what proved a crucial goal as they moved top thanks to Kashima Antlers' slip-up at Kashiwa Reysol.
Masato Kudo was the man on target for hosts Reysol in a 1-0 win.
Nelsinho Baptista's men have now won three league games in a row to stay within touching distance of the AFC Champions League slots, with their latest success knocking Kashima down to second.
One goal was also enough for Sagan Tosu against Shimizu S-Pulse at the IAI Stadium Nihondaira as they remained a point behind Urawa.
Naoyuki Fujita scored for the first time this season to ensure Sagan bounced back from defeat to Sanfrecce Hiroshima last time out.
Sanfrecce's inconsistent form continued as they were held to a goalless draw by Vissel Kobe while, at the bottom, Tokushima Vortis failed to build on their maiden win.
A 1-0 win over Ventforet Kofu handed the league's bottom side their first points of the term on Tuesday.
However, Shingo Akamine's goal before the break saw Vortis brought back down to earth with a 1-0 defeat at the hands of fellow strugglers Vegalta Sendai.
Even at this stage of the season, the writing appears to be on the wall for Shinji Kobayashi's side, who are six points adrift of safety.
Omiya Ardija sit just outside the relegation zone after a 2-2 draw against Albirex Niigata, but Gamba Osaka's miserable form continued as they were beaten 2-0 by Yokohama F. Marinos.
Gamba's city rivals Cerezo ended with 10 men but three points thanks to Diego Forlan's winner securing a 2-1 triumph over Nagoya Grampus, while Kawasaki Frontale were comfortable 2-0 winners over Ventforet.