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HOME  > Past issues  > 2021 February 17 - 23  > JCP Tamura demands summoning of PM Suga's son and 4 high-ranking bureaucrats to testify before Diet
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2021 February 17 - 23 [POLITICS]

JCP Tamura demands summoning of PM Suga's son and 4 high-ranking bureaucrats to testify before Diet

February 20, 2021

Japanese Communist Party Policy Commission Chair Tamura Tomoko at a press conference held in the Diet building on February 19 demanded that all persons connected with the scandal in which Prime Minister Suga's son, who is an employee of broadcast business provider "Tohokushinsha" and who was once a private secretary to the Communications Minister, had wined and dined four senior officials of the Communications Ministry be called to give testimony before the Diet.

The weekly magazine "Bunshun" two days ago published online the audio data of a dinner conversation in which bureaucrats in question admitted that it is their voices in the recording.

JCP Tamura pointed to the importance of fairness in the broadcasting administration and said, "All four Tohokushinsha representatives, including Suga's son and four high-ranking officials of the Communications Ministry who had been wined and dined should be summoned to the Diet to respond to the allegation."

Until the magazine made public the audio data, the Ministry of Communications in its voluntary probe kept defending the officials who had lied about the conversation with Suga's son. Regarding this, Tamura said, "It is hard to image that the ministry can conduct an impartial investigation to uncover the facts," again demanding the summoning of all persons concerned.

Earlier on the same day at House of Representatives committee meetings, Akimoto Yoshinori, director-general of the ministry's Information and Communications Bureau, changed his previous statement of having no memory of the conversation, and said that he was one of the persons in the audio data. Akimoto admitted that they talked about businesses related to satellite broadcasting during the dinner with Suga's son, saying, "I now admit that part of our conversation was about broadcasting satellite, communications satellite, and the 'Star Channel'."

The National Public Service Ethics Code prohibits government employees from receiving gifts or dinner invitations from interested parties. Asked if Suga's son is an interested party during committee questionings, Akimoto answered, "I recognize him as an interested party."

Yumoto Hironobu, deputy director-general of the ministry's Information and Communications Bureau, had claimed, "I recall that we 'never' talked about satellite broadcasting businesses," in their get-togethers. However, during questioning in the committee meetings, Yumoto toned down his previous claim and said, "I have 'no clear' memory" whether they discussed satellite broadcasting businesses.

Past related articles:
> PM Suga received Y4 mil donation from founder of media firm where his son works [February 8, 2021]
> Shii: PM Suga should be accountable for his son’s wining/dining scandal [ February 5, 2021]
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