Japan Press Weekly
[Advanced search]
Past issues
Special issues
Fact Box
Feature Articles
Mail to editor
Mail magazine
HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 October 16 - 21  > Abe allegedly used taxpayers’ money to entertain his supporters
> List of Past issues
Bookmark and Share
2019 October 16 - 21 TOP3 [POLITICS]

Abe allegedly used taxpayers’ money to entertain his supporters

October 21, 2019

The Akahata Sunday Edition in its October 13 exclusive reported that Prime Minister Abe Shinzo allegedly used taxpayers’ money to entertain supporters. This scoop is attracting much attention.

The Akahata Sunday Edition revealed that hundreds of Abe’s supporters in his hometown in Yamaguchi Prefecture routinely take part in a government-hosted cherry blossom viewing party in Tokyo, based on interviews with members of Abe’s supporters’ groups. The annual tour to Tokyo is organized by Abe’s local office.

The cherry blossom viewing party is hosted by the prime minister and is one of the official events of the Cabinet Office. Until several years ago, the number of guests had been around 10,000. However, under the Abe government, the guest list became larger and 18,200 people took part in this year’s party. In 2018, the government spent more than 52 million yen, which was three times more than the initially allocated budget, on this event.

According to the Akahata Sunday Edition, Abe’s local office staff choose who is to be invited to the party and arrange flight tickets and accommodation for partygoers. It also reported that Abe’s wife Akie also sent her friends and acquaintances invitations to the party and that other Cabinet ministers and heavyweights of Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party invited their supporters to the event as well.

The Akahata Sunday Edition pointed out that according to a document used in a Cabinet meeting in January, guests at the cherry blossom viewing party should fall under eleven categories, such as “members and former members of Japan’s Imperial Family”, “ambassadors and ministers to Japan”, and “representatives from various fields”.

It is also suspected that the Cabinet Office turned a blind eye to the fact that hundreds of members of Abe’s supporters’ groups attended the party. However, in response to a question from Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Representatives Miyamoto Toru at a House Financial Affairs meeting in May, the Cabinet Office asserted that it is unable to say who were invited to this year’s party because the relevant documents have been discarded.

> List of Past issues
  Copyright (c) Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. All right reserved