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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 May 31 - June 6  > PM Abe should stop taking a ‘so-what’ attitude toward ‘Kake Gakuen’ scandal
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2017 May 31 - June 6 [POLITICS]
editorial 

PM Abe should stop taking a ‘so-what’ attitude toward ‘Kake Gakuen’ scandal

June 6, 2017
Akahata editorial (excerpts)

Prime Minister Abe Shinzo was recently grilled in both Houses’ audit committees in regard to the allegation that he was involved in the opening of a veterinary school at Kake Gakuen headed by Abe’s “confidant”. It has come to light that the Cabinet Office and Abe’s close aide put pressure on the Education Ministry and that a special advisor to the Cabinet, who is also a Kake Gakuen director, used his influence on the matter. The suspicion of Abe’s involvement in the Kake Gakuen scandal has deepened. PM Abe should cooperate in the investigation into the allegation if he wants to prove he was not involved in any way.

It had been reported that Kake Gakuen plans to set up a university veterinary medicine department in Ehime’s Imabari City. The plan showed progress after the city was designated as a national strategic special zone by the Prime Minister Abe-led government at the end of 2015.

Between September and October 2016, the Cabinet Office which is in charge of the Abe panel on the national strategic special zone program pressured the Education Ministry by talking about the “Prime Minister’s intent” and “A request from the top of the Prime Minister’s Office”. These sentences were on documents compiled by the Education Ministry. The documents were confirmed as “genuine” by former administrative head of the ministry Maekawa Kihei.

Maekawa also revealed that during the same period of time, PM Abe’s close aide Izumi Hiroto and special advisor to the Cabinet Office Kiso Isao pressed him to accelerate the ministry’s procedure for the establishment of the Kake Gakuen’s veterinary school. As Izumi and Kiso were chosen by Abe, it is evident that they echoed Abe’s intent in their moves. In addition, the appointment of Kiso to be a Cabinet Office special advisor is ethically disputable because he serves on the Kake Gakuen board.

Prime Minister Abe in the Diet insisted that Kake Gakuen’s plan was approved through ordinary administrative processes and rejected opposition parties’ demand for looking into the Education Ministry’s internal documents on the matter and what special advisers said to Maekawa. It is unacceptable for PM Abe to take an irresponsible attitude regarding the allegation.

Past related articles:
> Ex-Vice Minister of Education: Documents are genuine [May 26, 2017]
> Internal documents show how ‘Kake Gakuen’ came in first [May 18 & 23, 2017]
> Education ministry stores document indicating Abe’s involvement in Kake Gakuen scandal [May 19, 2017]
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