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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 March 15 - 21  > 4 opposition parties jointly demand DM Inada’s resignation due to false statements
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2017 March 15 - 21 [POLITICS]

4 opposition parties jointly demand DM Inada’s resignation due to false statements

March 15, 2017
Defense Minister Inada Tomomi on March 14 retracted her previous statements and acknowledged that she had pleaded for an ultra-nationalist school corporation which is under fire for purchasing state-owned land at a giveaway price. Four opposition parties, including the Japanese Communist Party, demanded Inada’s resignation because she lacks the qualifications needed to be a cabinet minister.

It has come to light that Moritomo Gakuen, a scandal-tainted school corporation based in Osaka, has strong ties with DM Inada in addition to its close ties with Prime Minister Abe Shinzo and his wife, Akie.

Earlier this month, a Democratic Party lawmaker asked Inada, also a lawyer, if she had served as a legal adviser to Moritomo Gakuen. The minister denied this, saying that she had “never” given legal advice to the president of the school operator, Kagoike Yasunori.

Soon afterward, however, it turned out that Inada appeared in the Osaka District Court in 2004 to represent Moritomo in a civil suit. At the Lower House plenary session on March 14, the minister took back her previous assertion and apologized for making false statements.

At a meeting of the chairs of each political party’s Diet affairs committee which was held later that day, the JCP and three other opposition parties jointly demanded the resignation of the defense minister. The ruling parties refused to accept their demand, insisting that it is only the prime minister who has the power to dismiss cabinet members.

The opposition representatives also stressed the need to summon Kagoike to the Diet as a sworn witness in order to investigate the allegations concerning his company’s acquisition of the national land in Osaka. The governing coalition rejected this demand as well.

At a press conference after the meeting, JCP Diet Policy Commission Chair Kokuta Keiji denounced the Abe government and the ruling parties for attempting to cover up the scandal. “In response to the demands of the general public, we’ll do our best to bring the truth to light,” he said.
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