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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 February 26 - March 3  > PM Abe and ruling party politicians enjoy lavish dinners while putting voluntary ban on public
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2020 February 26 - March 3 TOP3 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

PM Abe and ruling party politicians enjoy lavish dinners while putting voluntary ban on public

February 27 & 29, 2020

With novel coronavirus infection spreading in Japan, the Prime Minister's Office members and ruling party politicians as well as PM Abe Shinzo continue to wine and dine with their ruling "peers" and top business executives.

They continue holding get-togethers while putting a voluntary ban on events on the general public, displaying their lack of commitment to crisis management.

On February 5, when the Abe government decided to isolate Diamond Princess passengers on the cruise ship, PM Abe reportedly met with Inada Tomomi, executive acting secretary-general of the Liberal Democratic Party, and an honorary consul of JXTG Holdings and its vice president at a teppanyaki steak restaurant in the prestigious hotel Okura Tokyo.

When the first infected person was confirmed dead in Japan on February 13, Abe had dinner with Dietmembers of several LDP factions at an exclusive Chinese restaurant near the LDP head office. He stayed for only eight minutes at a government crisis meeting convened on the following day. Meanwhile, on the evening of the same day, he enjoyed dinner with the chairman of Nihon Keizai Shimbun (Nikkei) and its president at the Imperial Hotel.

On February 17, when a group of Diamond Princess passengers urgently requested the government to permit them to disembark, Abe dined with big business CEOs who included Mitsubishi Gas Chemical's chairman and Tama Home's chairman at the Prime Minister's official residence. On February 18, he had dinner with Komei Party Akaba Kazuyoshi, minister of land and transport, and former leader of the Komei Party Ota Akihiro at a Chinese restaurant in the Grand Hyatt Tokyo. On February 20 when two Japanese passengers were pronounced dead, he dined with LDP lawmakers and a critic at a teppanyaki steak restaurant.

On February 21 when elementary school age brothers in Hokkaido were found COVID-infected, he celebrated LDP Inada Tomomi's birthday at a Chinese restaurant in the Prince Park Tower Tokyo.

Not only Abe but other LDP politicians had dinner parties. Lower House member Sugita Mio on February 25 hosted a buffet-style fundraising party in which three Cabinet ministers and Shimomura Hakubun, LDP election bureau chief, attended. On February 26 when the government called for a voluntary ban on large events, Lower House member Akiba Kenya, an assistant to the prime minister, hosted a buffet party to raise funds.

Just two days earlier, the government's anti-corona expert panel called a press conference to release a statement calling on the general public to not hold buffet parties or drinking sessions as much as possible.
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