March 6, 2017
To investigate the land deal where a school corporation bought state land at an astonishingly low price, Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Koike Akira on March 5 visited the controversial site in Toyonaka City, Osaka.
The school corporation in question, Moritomo Gakuen, is planning to build an elementary school on the site and has come under scrutiny since JCP lawmakers brought the issue to light in early February in the Diet. The corporation, which operates a kindergarten in Osaka, is facing criticism for imposing ultra-nationalist education on children.
At the site of the school which is scheduled to open in April, Koike received a brief explanation from JCP member of the Toyonaka City Assembly, Matsushita Sango, that Moritomo Gakuen paid around 100 million for the purchase, while the Toyonaka City government paid 1.4 billion yen to obtain adjacent national land of almost the same size.
After the on-site inspection, Koike delivered a street speech near a station in Toyonaka City. He said to passersby that having visited the planned school site, he became more convinced that everyone would find the legality of the land purchase questionable. The JCP secretariat head stressed that it is clear that at the request of the school operator, some Dietmembers used their political power to lower the price of the land in question.
Koike pointed out that Prime Minister Abe Shinzo initially denied any possibility that ruling parties’ Dietmembers lent a helping hand to Moritomo Gakuen. However, Koike went on to say, Abe was proved to be wrong after Koike revealed in Diet committee meetings on March 1-2 that Moritomo’s president met with an LDP heavyweight Konoike Yoshitada, who served as a Cabinet minister multiple times, concerning the land deal. Koike noted that this revelation is based on documents written by staff members of Konoike, who claims that he was asked by the president for help, but rejected the request.
Koike said that it will become a major scandal if the private school corporation is found to have gained political favor in the national land purchase. He stressed that the JCP will continue working to uncover the whole picture of the issue.
In addition, Koike noted that Moritomo Gakuen solicited for donations using the name of Prime Minister Abe Shinzo and that the school on its website introduced Abe’s wife, Akie, as “honorary principal” of the planned elementary school. Abe should take moral responsibility for playing a role as a “celebrity poster” for the controversial school, Koike stated.
Past related articles:
> Teaching children 1890 Imperial Rescript on Education is inappropriate: education minister [February 24, 2017]
> Disclose facts regarding sale of state land to private school: JCP Kokuta [February 23, 2017]
> Far-right wing school corporation collects donations under name of ‘Abe Shinzo’ [February 17, 2017]
> Abe’s wife-associated school corporation gets national land at exceptionally low price [February 11, 2017]