Japanese prime minister in far-right school corruption scandal

This video from Japan says about itself:

1 March 2017

A nationalist kindergarten has sparked a scandal which has put the Abe administration in danger. The controversial school teaches students pre-war era ideologies, and has been heavily criticized for referring to Korean and Chinese nationals as “those with wicked ideas” and calling the latter “Shinajin” – which is a derogatory word for Chinese people. Will Prime Minister Abe make it through the scandal? Join host Timothy Langley, Michael Cucek and Dr. Nancy Snow in another polarizing episode of Tokyo on Fire.

From the Sydney Morning Herald in Australia:

March 23 2017 – 2:29PM

Japanese PM Shinzo Abe and wife Akie caught up in right-wing school donation scandal

Elaine Lies and Linda Sieg

Tokyo: The head of a Japanese nationalist school at the heart of a swirling political scandal testified under oath in parliament on Thursday that he received a donation of 1 million yen ($11,700) from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s wife in her husband’s name.

As the scandal began to dominate headlines last month, Akie Abe resigned as honorary principal of a new school planned by a right-wing group in Osaka. The group, Moritomo Gakuen, promotes elements from Japan’s pre-war patriotic school curriculum and bought land from the government at a fraction of its appraisal price to build an elementary school. …

Akie had been set to be honorary principal of the school, which was to open in April with a curriculum that taught students to be subjects, not citizens. She cut her ties after the scandal broke. The group also runs a kindergarten with a similar curriculum.

Kagoike [head of Moritomo Gakuen], in testimony to an upper house budget committee under oath – which means he could face perjury charges if he is later found to have lied – said that he had received money from Abe’s wife in 2015 when the two of them were alone in a room at the school.

“She said ‘please, this is from Shinzo Abe,’ and gave me an envelope with 1 million yen in it,” Kagoike said.

“Abe’s wife apparently says she doesn’t remember this at all, but since this was a matter of honour to us, I remember it quite vividly.”

The testimony was broadcast live on four of Japan’s six television networks.

Kagoike is a member of Nippon Kaigi, a nationalist lobby group that promotes a traditional ethos mixing Shinto myth, patriotism and pride in an ancient imperial line. The group has close ties to Abe and his cabinet.

Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party had resisted opposition calls for Kagoike to testify but agreed after he said Abe had donated money, calling the allegation an “insult” to the prime minister.

Abe’s support fell 10 points … in a Yomiuri newspaper survey published this week, the biggest drop since he returned to office for a rare second term in December 2012.

Defence Minister Tomomi Inada, under fire for an unrelated possible cover-up at her ministry [about Japanese armed forces in South Sudan], has also been ensnared in the school scandal. She had denied appearing in court on Kagoike’s behalf but had to correct her statement to parliament after court records showed she had. She said her memory was faulty.

This is hardly Ms Inada’s first scandal.

Pictures from Japanese neo-Nazi Kazunari Yamada’s website show him posing with Shinzo Abe’s internal affairs minister, Sanae Takaichi, and his party’s then policy chief, Tomomi Inada

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Japan: Abe gives military brief to war crimes apologist

Thursday 4th August 2016

JAPANESE Prime Minister Shinzo Abe risked upsetting regional neighbours yesterday by naming as defence minister Tomomi Inada, who has excused her country’s war crimes.

Ms Inada, a former minister for regulatory reform who most recently held one of the top posts in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, replaced Gen Nakatani as defence minister.

Mr Nakatani was notorious for pressing for Japan to have a pre-emptive strike capability.

The new defence minister is a regular at Tokyo’s Yasukuni Shrine, which honours war dead, including convicted war criminals.

Ms Inada has excused Japan’s wartime atrocities, including forcing many Asian women into sexual slavery in military-run brothels, and has headed a party committee to re-evaluate the judgement of Allied war tribunals.

Her link to a notorious anti-Korean group was acknowledged by a court this year in a defamation case she lost.

She was also seen posing with neonazi group leader Kazunari Yamada in a 2011 photo that surfaced in the media in 2014.

With ministers like Ms Inada, ‘defence minister’ sounds more than ever like an euphemism for war minister.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has become embroiled once again in recent weeks in the scandal over a land sale to a far-right private school in Osaka Prefecture. The affair could negatively impact Abe’s chances of remaining head of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) in a leadership vote this September and thus extending his term as prime minister: here.

9 thoughts on “Japanese prime minister in far-right school corruption scandal

  1. Friday 24th March 2017

    posted by James Tweedie in World

    JAPAN’S militarist Prime Minister Shinzo Abe lied about cash bungs to a fascist school chain, its head told parliament yesterday.

    In a sworn testimony yesterday, group principal Yasunori Kagoike told MPs that the PM had donated 1 million yen (£7,200) to the firm in an envelope delivered by his wife.

    He said Akie Abe handed him the cash during a September 2015 visit to the nursery he ran in Osaka.

    Mr Kagoike was testifying about his group’s suspect land purchase for a now-cancelled primary school project.

    Mr Abe has denied any influence in the sale last year of state property to Mr Kagoike for 134 million yen (£964,000) — one-seventh of its market value.

    But Mr Kagoike said yesterday: “I believe there was political influence one way or the other at every occasion and place [during the approval process].”

    Ms Abe was honorary headmistress of the Mizuho no Kuni (Land of Rice) school for several months until resigning two weeks after the scandal erupted in early February.

    Yesterday Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga rejected the donation claims made against the prime minister.

    Mr Kagoike hit the headlines last week when parents demanded an investigation into his racist comments about Chinese and Koreans and a militaristic school regime they likened to borderline abuse.

    Mr Kagoike and Mr Abe are both members of the ultraconservative Nippon Kaigi lobby group which glorifies imperial Japan’s genocidal conquest of Asia in the early 20th century.



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  6. JAPAN: Finance Minister Taro Aso said yesterday that he had no plan to quit following the resignation of tax agency chief Nobuhisa Sagawa, whom he had appointed in July, over a cronyism scandal involving Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

    Mr Sagawa had been accused of trying to hush up claims that a private school linked to Mr Abe’s wife got a sweetheart deal on land in Osaka.

    As financial bureau chief, Mr Sagawa falsely claimed that documents relating to the sale had been destroyed, other papers appear to have been doctored.



  7. JAPANESE Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was grilled by opposition MPs in parliament today over a widening school land sale scandal linked to his wife, as his government’s approval ratings plunged to their lowest levels.

    MPs renewed demands that Mr Abe’s wife and top officials involved in the land sale be summoned to testify in parliament. Mr Abe has denied wrongdoing.

    Smouldering for a year, the scandal erupted again last week after Finance Ministry officials acknowledged tampering with land sale documents, including deleting references to Akie Abe, following a newspaper report in early March. The tampering is under criminal investigation by prosecutors.

    Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan MP Tetsuro Fukuyama accused Mr Abe of betraying parliament for nearly a year.

    “The Abe government’s attitude is entirely called into question,” Mr Fukuyama said.

    Four opinion polls released today showed government approval ratings falling to the 30 per cent range, the lowest since Mr Abe took office in 2012.

    Thousands of protesters have gathered outside the prime minister’s office almost every day, demanding that he step down.

    The scandal stems from the 2016 sale of state land to school operator Moritomo Gakuen in Osaka at one-seventh the appraised value with the alleged involvement of Ms Abe, who has said both she and her husband support the school’s ultra-nationalistic philosophy of education.

    Ministry officials said the land deal documents were altered from late February to April last year at the instruction of the financial bureau, the ministry department in charge of state property transactions, mostly at its regional unit in Osaka.

    That coincided with Mr Abe’s pledge to parliament that he would resign if any proof of the allegations were found.



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