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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 March 27 - April 2  > University founder exploiting foreign students donates money to Abe Cabinet member
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2019 March 27 - April 2 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

University founder exploiting foreign students donates money to Abe Cabinet member

April 1, 2019
Akahata on March 31 learned that the founder of a scandal-hit private university made a political donation to Liberal Democratic Party parliamentarian and State Minister of Cabinet Office Akimoto Tsukasa. The university allegedly brought in large profits through exploitation of international students.

It recently came to light that among overseas students in the Tokyo University of Social Welfare, as many as 1,400 students became unreachable in the past three years. It is alleged that the university accepted an excessively large number of students from abroad just to make profits without making the necessary preparations, including the improvement of classrooms. The Education and Justice ministries on March 26 carried out an on-site inspection at the university as part of their efforts to check if the university’s acceptance of international students is proper.

The university opened its doors wide for foreign students under the lead of its founder, who was arrested in 2008 for sexual assault and given a sentence of two years in prison without a stay of execution. He is an alumnus of Fordham University, just as U.S. President Donald Trump, according to the explanation made by Tokyo University of Social Welfare to the Education Ministry, most likely in a bid to make a good impression.

It is reported that in a university meeting in 2011, when the founder served as the university president, he proposed accepting more foreign students by saying that the university would be able to earn 12 billion yen in four years. After that, the university’s registration of foreign students ballooned by nearly ten times in just four years from 2014.

The founder in 2014 donated half a million yen to an LDP branch headed by Akimoto, according to LDP’s political fund management report. In addition, Akimoto is a guest professor and a director of the university.

In response to Akahata inquiry, Akimoto’s office staff said that the political donation in question has no legal problem related to the Political Funds Control Act.
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