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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 November 25 - December 1  > Abe's explanation conflicts with hotel receipts for banquets on eve of cherry blossom-viewing parties
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2020 November 25 - December 1 [POLITICS]

Abe's explanation conflicts with hotel receipts for banquets on eve of cherry blossom-viewing parties

November 25, 2020
It came to light on November 24 from bills and receipts issued by a Tokyo hotel that former Prime Minister Abe Shinzo had paid the shortfall of more than eight million yen for five years for luxury feasts at the hotel with his supporters on the eve of annual tax-funded "cherry blossom-viewing parties" which he himself had hosted.

Abe on the same day admitted that investigations are taking place and said, "At this stage, I'd like to refrain from commenting."

Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Koike Akira at a press conference in the Diet building said, "If this is true, what he claimed in the Diet will turn out to be false which is a clear violation of relevant laws," and demanded the summoning of Abe before the Diet.

Koike pointed out that Abe in the Diet had explained, "Banquets participants were responsible for all expenses. Neither my office nor my support group paid anything at all. Because of this, there was no need to include it in political funds reports." Koike also pointed out that Abe in regard to banquets receipts had said, "The hotel didn't issue receipts."

In Diet plenary sessions and Diet committee meetings, Abe said, "My office is not involved in those dinners," 16 times; "There is no receipt," ten times; and "I did not cover the shortfall," seven times. Suga Yoshihide, chief cabinet secretary at that time, repeated similar claims in the Diet.

Koike said, "Scandals pertaining to the cherry blossom-viewing parties epitomize Abe's abuse of power. The facts must not remain obscure. If the Liberal Democratic Party ignores opposition parties' demand that Abe disclose the truth in the Diet, the general public will suspect that the entire LDP is covering up the facts."

Past related article:
> Sunday Akahata’s report on cherry blossom-viewing party scandal wins grand prize for journalism [September 9, 2020]
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