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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 March 15 - 21  > Man in question to be summoned over his bargain basement purchase of state land
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2017 March 15 - 21 [POLITICS]

Man in question to be summoned over his bargain basement purchase of state land

March 17, 2017
The president of the school corporation which bought state land at an astonishingly bargain price, after meeting representatives of the four opposition parties at his home on March 16, said that he will testify in regard to the allegation before the Diet.

Kagoike Yasunori, president of Osaka-based Moritomo Gakuen, told reporters gathering in front of his residence in Osaka that he intends to accept if called to the Diet as a sworn witness. He said, “I will speak candidly in the Diet.”

As Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Koike Akira left Kagoike’s house, the press asked, “The governing parties are opposing Kagoike’s appearance to testify in the Diet. Do you think the opposition forces can persuade the ruling parties to summon him?”

Koike answered, “The LDP and Komei parties are reluctant to summon the man in question and are saying, ‘Careful consideration of his right to remain silent is necessary because he is a private citizen.’ Now that he himself has proclaimed that he will speak before the Diet, they can no longer keep him away.”

Koike continued to say, “If they keep refusing to hold a witness questioning session, the general public will no doubt think that ‘someone in the LDP is trying to hide the facts’ or think that ‘there is something they don’t want the public to know’. The opposition parties will together pressure the ruling bloc so that Kagoike can come to the Diet to testify under oath.”

* * *

On the same day, a House of Councilors inspection team went to Osaka to interview relevant Osaka prefectural government officials in an attempt to clarify how Moritomo Gakuen had acquired state-owned land at such a remarkably low price.

During the hearing, it came to light that the prefecture did not take notes when negotiating with the Finance Ministry’s local bureau over the sale of the national property. The Osaka officials, however, denied politicians’ involvement in this questionable deal.

JCP lawmaker Tatsumi Kotaro, a member of the Upper House inspectorate, criticized the local authorities for trying to withhold information and for avoiding giving a clear explanation. He said, “This is not the right attitude to take to elucidate the matter.”
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