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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 February 8 - 14  > Abe’s wife-associated school corporation gets national land at exceptionally low price
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2017 February 8 - 14 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Abe’s wife-associated school corporation gets national land at exceptionally low price

February 11, 2017
A private school corporation in Osaka which has close ties with Prime Minister Abe Shinzo’s wife had bought national land at one-tenth of the current market price to build an elementary school, Akahata reported on February 11.

This fact came to light when Japanese Communist Party lawmakers Tatsumi Kotaro and Miyamoto Takeshi questioned the Finance Ministry about the issue in early February.

According to the two JCP legislators, in June 2016, a school corporation called Moritomo Gakuen which operates a kindergarten in Osaka City purchased the national land of about 8,700 square meters in Osaka’s Toyonaka City for 134 million yen. Meanwhile, the price of the adjacent state land of 9,400 square meters was more than 1.4 billion yen.

On top of that, the corporation is allowed to make payments in 10 installments with interest at only 1% (nearly 5.9 million yen a year). This is a red-carpet treatment to the company with only limited net assets.

When the national government sold the property to the school corporation, the Finance Ministry did not make public its price on the grounds of an exceptional provision in the Freedom of Information Law. This is the only deal in which the price was undisclosed out of the 36 negotiated public contracts concluded in the Kinki region between fiscal 2014 and 2016. Facing mounting criticism over the suspicious contracting process from local assemblypersons and media, the ministry abruptly changed its position and disclosed the sales price.

The website of the elementary school which the school operator is planning to open in April in Toyonaka City introduces PM Abe’s wife, Akie, as “honorary principal”. In her message, the First Lady expresses her hope that the primary school will implant the notion of “pride as the unique Japanese race” in the minds of children through its “superior moral education curriculum”.

The kindergarten run by the operator in Osaka City is known for providing children with a form of militaristic education which is reminiscent of the Japanese Empire before and during World War II. The preschool has children recite the Imperial Rescript on Education every morning and often has them sing in chorus the “Kimigayo” song praising the despotic Tenno (Emperor) system of Japan and even the war song “Umi-yukaba”.

In January 2015, Moritomo Gakuen chairman Kagoike Yasunori said in an interview with the Sankei Shimbun that he plans to found a private elementary school in Osaka to admit children graduating from the ultra-national kindergarten.
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