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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 April 11 - 17  > Onus of proof over school scandals lies with gov't: JCP Miyamoto
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2018 April 11 - 17 [POLITICS]

Onus of proof over school scandals lies with gov't: JCP Miyamoto

April 12, 2018

Kake Gakuen

Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Representatives Miyamoto Takeshi at a House Budget Committee meeting on April 11 raised the issue of memoranda which a municipal official had written concerning the establishment of a veterinary medicine department at a university operated by the school corporation "Kake Gakuen" whose president is Prime Minister Abe's close friend.

Miyamoto showed copies of the notes taken at meetings which an Ehime prefectural government employee held with Fujiwara Yutaka (former Cabinet Office executive) at the Cabinet Office and with Yanase Tadao (former secretary to the Prime Minister) at the Prime Minister's Office in April 2015.

The records of the meetings state that the project to open a new school was receiving a strong endorsement from the Prime Minister Office as "a matter concerning the Prime Minister".

Abe, however, said, "I've neither been asked for advice nor received any request from Kake Kotaro, the president of Kake Gakuen, on the opening of a new faculty."

Miyamoto in response said, "There is no advantage at all for the Ehime prefectural government to produce a document to trap you. In so far as these notes were found, the onus of proof lies with the central government."

Moritomo Gakuen

Miyamoto also took up the issue of the state-owned land sale to the school corporation "Moritomo Gakuen".

It came to light two days earlier during an Upper House Committee meeting that the Ministry of Finance had asked Moritomo Gauken to lie about the removal of buried waste: "Several thousand trucks were used to transport a huge amount of waste from the construction site for a Moritomo elementary school and this work cost a lot." In the first place, the wastes buried deep in the ground were the reason for the 90%-discount sale of state land to Moritomo. The present chief of the financial bureau of the Financial Ministry admitted to the request and repeatedly apologized for it.

Regarding this situation, Miyamoto said, "The huge discount was not 'appropriate'. That's why the Ministry had to ask the school to make a false statement," and asked the Prime Minister, "Do you still believe that the 820-million-yen discount on the land deal was 'appropriate'?

Abe could not reply coherently and gave no convincing explanation about the price reduction the central government "justly" had made.

About this unprecedented discount, the Board of Audit in November last year concluded that it could not confirm the accuracy of disposal costs that the financial bureau had estimated.

Past related articles:
> Finance Ministry confirms voice data regarding huge discount scenario of land deal for Moritomo [November 29, 2017]
> Board of Audit: Finance Ministry’s 90% discount on land deal for Moritomo inappropriate [November 22, 2017]
> Gov’t allows Abe’s friend to open veterinary school as exceptional case [November 15, 2017]
> 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]
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