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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 June 21 - 27  > Abe should convene extraordinary Diet session to investigate ‘Kake Gakuen’ scandal
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2017 June 21 - 27 [POLITICS]
editorial 

Abe should convene extraordinary Diet session to investigate ‘Kake Gakuen’ scandal

June 24, 2017

Akahata editorial (excerpts)

Opposition parties demanded the convening of an extraordinary Diet session because the two scandals of “Moritomo Gakuen” and “Kake Gakuen” are still under investigation. Although Prime Minister Abe at a press conference after the latest Diet session said, “If there are any problems that are pointed out by anyone, I will perform my responsibility of explaining”, he has yet to fulfill his accountability to respond to a new document which points to Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Hagiuda Koichi’s involvement in the “Kake” scandal. The document in question was unveiled on June 19 after the closure of the ordinary Diet session. Liberal Democratic Party Diet Affairs chief Takeshita Wataru refused to even discuss the matter while the Diet is in recess.

The Education Ministry on June 20 released a new document entitled a “summary of Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Hagiuda’s remarks” dated October 21, 2016. The document states, “PM Abe set a time limit for the ‘opening of a veterinary school in April 2018’”, and “Abe’s Special Advisor Izumi Hiroto said that while the Agriculture Ministry approved the opening of the school, only the Education Ministry hesitated.” Regarding the launch of a veterinary faculty run by “Kake Gakuen”, it has already come to light that the Cabinet Office pressured the Education Ministry by use of the phrase “the Prime Minister’s intent” and PM Abe’s close aide Izumi and special advisor to the Cabinet Office Kiso Isao had also pressed the Education Ministry for approval. The new document is material evidence suggesting that Hagiuda applied pressure on the Education Ministry to approve the plan to launch the veterinary school of “Kake Gakuen” three months prior to a formal decision. Therefore, the serious allegation linked to the “Kake Gakuen” scandal should be thoroughly investigated by calling an extraordinary Diet session.

There is another allegation regarding Hagiuda shown by the Education Ministry’s documents. He is suspected of pressuring the Education Ministry to include in a decision document of the National Strategic Special Zone Advisory Council that the Council may approve the setting up of a veterinary school “only” in the case there is no veterinary faculty “in a wide area”, so as to eliminate applications from institutions other than “Kake Gakuen”. Since PM Abe’s close aide Hagiuda’s involvement is a core issue in the “Kake” scandal, it is unacceptable to allow this to be overlooked.

Hagiuda criticized the new document as being inaccurate. However, he avoids explaining to the public which points are inaccurate. His superior, Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga Yoshihide also refuses to fulfill his accountability. Their attitudes of not responding to the contradictions in the investigations between the Education Ministry and the Cabinet Office show they have no sense of responsibility. In order to redress the public’s political distrust, the Diet must shoulder the responsibility to fully investigate the allegations.
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