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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 May 24 - 30  > 4 opposition parties jointly demand summoning of ex-administrative head of Education Ministry
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2017 May 24 - 30 [POLITICS]

4 opposition parties jointly demand summoning of ex-administrative head of Education Ministry

May 27, 2017
The Japanese Communist Party and three other opposition parties on May 26 made representations to the ruling coalition, demanding that a former top bureaucrat of the Minister of Education be called to testify in regard to the “Kake Gakuen” allegations and that intensive Diet deliberations be held.

The JCP, Democratic, Liberal, and Social Democratic parties earlier on the same day held a meeting with the four Diet affairs committee chairpersons in the Diet building to discuss ways to uncover the whole story behind the “Kake Gakuen” scandal.

The four confirmed that they will together press the governing Liberal Democratic and Komei parties to summon former Vice Minister of Education Maekawa Kihei to give unsworn testimony before the Diet relating to Prime Minister Abe Shinzo’s alleged involvement in applying political pressure to facilitate the school corporation “Kake Gakuen”, which is operated by Abe’s confidant, to open a new faculty.

They also agreed to demand the holding of intensive discussions in both chambers’ Budget Committee meetings with the presence of PM Abe.

Following the meeting, DP Diet Affairs Commission Chair Yamai Kazunori met with his LDP counterpart, Takeshita Wataru, to convey the demand of the four opposition parties. Takeshita, however, rejected the request for Maekawa’s testimony. As for an intensive Diet debate, the head of the LDP Diet Affairs Committee said, “I’d like to coordinate with the ruling parties.”

JCP Kokuta Keiji pointed out that the ex-top official had admitted that internal documents which indicate that “the establishment of a veterinary medicine department is the intent of the Prime Minister”, are all authentic. Kokuta said, “Whether Abe will agree to the summoning of the witness will show whether or not he intends to reveal the truth.”

DP Yamai said, “If PM Abe seeks to prove his innocence, he should allow the Diet to call Maekawa to testify.”

* * *

Concurrently, Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo was inspecting Tokyo’s Tsukiji Market. After visiting the wholesale market, Shii, in response to the press asking for a comment on the PM Abe’s alleged involvement in the “Kake Gakuen” scandal, said that Abe should fulfill his responsibility to clarify the whole picture.

Shii added, “PM Abe is denying the allegations. This means that someone else lobbied the relevant ministries under the shelter of Abe’s influence. If that is the case, Abe is the one who should be responsible for finding out who did this in the name of the Prime Minister. Otherwise, it will be assumed that Abe himself exerted his political influence in this issue.”

Past related articles:
> Internal documents show how ‘Kake Gakuen’ came in first [May 18 & 23, 2017]
> Suspicion of nepotism surrounding private university operated by Abe’s friend [May 21, 2017]
> Shii: Abe should step down if Kake allegation found to be true [May 19, 2017]
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