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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 May 20 - 26  > 662 lawyers accuse PM Abe of violating election law and political fund law
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2020 May 20 - 26 [POLITICS]

662 lawyers accuse PM Abe of violating election law and political fund law

May 22, 2020
A group of 662 lawyers nationwide on May 21 filed with the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office a criminal complaint against Prime Minister Abe Shinzo, claiming that Abe violated the Public Office Election Law and the Political Funds Control Act when he held a party for his supporters two years ago.

The written complaint points to the fact that Abe’s political organization on April 20, 2018 held a party at the upscale Hotel New Otani in Tokyo with around 800 people from Abe’s hometown of Yamaguchi Prefecture attending. Most of the participants were visiting Tokyo as guests of PM Abe at the government-hosted cherry blossom-viewing party that was scheduled for the next day.

The lawyers estimate that it would have costed at least 11,000 yen per guest to hold the hotel party. They point out that party participants paid only 5,000 yen as a fee, which means that Abe in effect gave 6,000 yen to his prospective voters in violation of the Public Office Election Law.

The 662 lawyers also noted that the 2018 political funds report of PM Abe’s political organization, which was submitted to the Yamaguchi prefectural election administration commission, does not include the estimated sum of four million yen collected from attendees of the 2018 party in question and the payment to the Hotel New Otani. They claim that this is a breach of the Political Funds Control Act.

After the filing, representatives of the lawyers on the same day held a press conference and said that there is no doubt about Abe’s criminal responsibility as the party participants received from Abe’s staff an invitation letter informing them of the nominal fee of 5,000 yen.

The lawyers' group also released a statement stating that ever since the scandal associated with the hotel party surfaced last year, PM Abe has been making insincere and unreasonable explanations. The statement urges prosecutors to thoroughly look into the case without hesitating to resort to compulsory investigations.

Lawyer Onodera Yoshitaka pointed out that Abe held a similar party in 2019 as well. Onodera said that the lawyers will submit another legal complaint to prosecutors if Abe’s 2019 political funds report to be published later this year does not mention the income and expenditure associated with the party.

Past related article:
> Sunday Akahata’s scoop implies that PM Abe made false statement about cherry-viewing party [November 14, 2019]
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