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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 April 12 - 18  > Abe’s wife not in the Diet but on Facebook page argues against criticism of her involvement in ‘Moritomo’ scandal
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2017 April 12 - 18 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Abe’s wife not in the Diet but on Facebook page argues against criticism of her involvement in ‘Moritomo’ scandal

April 12, 2017
“The government is protecting Prime Minister Abe by pushing all the blame on his wife’s attendant. This is making my blood boil,” Izuka Moriyasu, vice chairman of a union (Zenkeizai) of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), on March 25 posted this comment on his Facebook page. Izuka was furious because the person who was assigned to care for Akie is a METI employee.

Akie has been under fire for her alleged involvement in the selling of national land to the Osaka-based school corporation, Moritomo Gakuen, at an extraordinarily low price especially since it came to light that her personal assistant, the METI official, had contacted the Finance Ministry in regard to the land deal.

On the day following his post, Akie left a message on his Facebook page. She wrote, “I, of course, have no intention at all of pushing all the blame on her (the official in question).”

Izuka said to Akahata, “Things would have been difficult without Akie’s influence.”

Former President of Moritomo Gakuen Kagoike Yasunori during the March 23 questioning as a sworn witness in the Diet testified that he had left a message regarding the land contract on Akie’s answering machine and that he had later received a response by fax from the METI bureaucrat.

However, the government insists that the METI employee herself checked with the Finance Ministry personally and responded to Kagoike.

Izuka pointed out, “Without consulting Akie or the Cabinet Secretariat, it wouldn’t be possible for us to make an inquiry to other ministries at our own discretion.”

Why is it that the ministries had to take into account Moritomo Gakuen so much? Regarding this, the METI union officer said, “It is because it was considered as a request from an influential politician. We report to our immediate superior after receiving an inquiry or a request from a Dietmember and then we give top priority to deal with it.”

He went on to say, “PM Abe is the husband of Akie. So, it shouldn’t be a surprise if the Finance Ministry took it as a request from the prime minister. Maybe this is why the ministry politely sent a reply to Kagoike through the METI official who was assigned to work under Abe’s wife. Akie shouldn’t get away with just Facebook posts. She herself should be summoned to appear before the Diet.”

Past related articles:
> Osaka Pref. Assembly rejects setting up of special commission to probe Moritomo scandal [March 26, 2017]
> Kagoike’s testimony damages Abe gov’t [March 25, 2017]
> JCP Koike demands summoning of Abe’s wife as sworn witness in connection with Moritomo scandal [March 24, 2017]
> Several politicians suspected of engaging in Moritomo Gakuen scandal [March 24, 2017]
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