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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