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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 March 8 - 14  > 4 opposition parties jointly demand summoning of witnesses over Moritomo scandal
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2017 March 8 - 14 [POLITICS]

4 opposition parties jointly demand summoning of witnesses over Moritomo scandal

March 8, 2017
The representatives of four opposition parties, including the Japanese Communist Party, held a meeting on March 7 in the Diet building and agreed to demand to call key figures as unsworn witnesses who were involved in the huge discount sale of state-owned land to an Osaka-based private school corporation, Moritomo Gakuen.

The opposition parties call for the summoning of six people: Moritomo Gakuen President Kagoike Yasunori and five former and current executives of the Finance Ministry who were involved in price negotiations with the school operator.

At the meeting, JCP Diet Policy Commission Chair Kokuta Keiji said, “It is important that the four opposition parties have joined hands to uncover the whole truth about this issue. The JCP will continue to grill the Abe government and ruling parties in collaboration with opposition parties.”

On behalf of the four parties, Democratic Party Diet Affairs Committee Chair Yamanoi Kazunori met with his counterpart in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, Takeshita Wataru, urging him to support the demand of the opposition forces. Takeshita showed disapproval of the demand for summons, insisting that the sale of the state land has “not been proven to be illegal”.

Yamanoi pointed out that regardless of illegality, the Diet had summoned sworn and unsworn witnesses in order to investigate various allegations. He criticized the governing coalition for trying to cover up the scandal.

In June 2016, Moritomo Gakuen, closely tied with Prime Minister Abe Shinzo’s wife, purchased a piece of national land in Osaka to build an elementary school at an almost 90%-discounted price. At an Upper House Budget Committee meeting in early March, JCP Secretariat Head Koike Akira revealed the fact that the school corporation had previously asked an LDP heavyweight to exert political influence to slash the land price.

Past related article:
> JCP Yamashita demands summoning of witnesses over state land acquisition scandal [March 6, 2017]
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