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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 March 1 - 7  > JCP Yamashita demands summoning of witnesses over state land acquisition scandal
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2017 March 1 - 7 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

JCP Yamashita demands summoning of witnesses over state land acquisition scandal

March 6, 2017
Japanese Communist Party Vice Chair Yamashita Yoshiki argued in a TV debate aired on March 5 that the Diet should summon persons concerned in the scandal over the questionable sale of state-owned land to a school corporation in Osaka.

Yamashita discussed political issues with other political party representatives in the NHK “Sunday Debate” program. He said that JCP Secretariat Head Koike Akira’s recent interpellation at the Upper House Budget Committee revealed that the private school corporation, Moritomo Gakuen, had asked for the good offices of Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker Konoike Yoshitada for assistance in order to get a special discount on the state land in Osaka’s Toyonaka City.

Yamashita pointed to the fact that the school operator eventually succeeded in receiving a huge discount although Konoike rejected its request. Stating that this hints at the involvement of other governing party legislators, he stressed that Prime Minister Abe Shinzo has a responsibility to provide a full explanation about the alleged involvement of LDP lawmakers.

In response, Nakagawa Masaharu, the deputy chairman of the general assembly of LDP members of the House of Councilors, insisted that the sale price, discounted at nearly 90% off the appraised value, is “proper from a legal point of view”.

The JCP parliamentarian pointed out that national land is public property and that the general public will not be satisfied until the whole picture of this scandal becomes clear. He demanded the summoning of Moritomo Gakuen President Kagoike Yasunori and the then director-general of the Financial Bureau of the Finance Ministry as sworn witnesses before the Diet, saying, “Now that the ministry has disposed of all related records, there is no option but to ask people concerned directly.” Representatives of other opposition parties followed suit.

Yamashita asked Nakagawa, “Do the ruling parties refuse to reveal the facts?” The LDP executive just replied that this matter should be dealt with “in a cautious manner”.

Past related article:
> Disclose facts regarding sale of state land to private school: JCP Kokuta [February 23, 2017]
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