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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 July 26 - August 1  > PM Abe gets stuck answering questions on ‘Kake’ scandal
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2017 July 26 - August 1 TOP3 [POLITICS]

PM Abe gets stuck answering questions on ‘Kake’ scandal

July 26, 2017
Prime Minister Abe Shinzo on July 25 at an Upper House session held to probe the “Kake Gakuen” scandal often got stuck in responding to questions asked by opposition lawmakers and became confused and inconsistent in his responses.

PM Abe repeatedly made responses that contradicted the testimonies given by parties concerned. Opposition lawmakers raised their voices against Abe’s responses, declaring “It is obviously a false statement”, and “Do not lie”. The Diet meeting was frequently disrupted with shouts of anger and disapproval.

Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Councilors Koike Akira asked PM Abe when he learned of Kake Gakuen’s plan to launch a new veterinary medicine department. Abe in his previous statements at the Diet discussion suggested that he learned of Kake Gakuen’s application much earlier than the date he stated at the hearing. PM Abe replied that he had not known of Kake Gakuen’s wish to open a veterinary school until January 20, 2017. Koike pointed out, “It is unbelievable” that Abe did not know of the Kake Gakuen’s wish.

Abe was sometimes at a loss for words, lowering his eyes, and rushed to read out a prepared script.

Abe invited derisive laughter from the opposition benches, saying, “The PM’s statements are full of contradictions.” Ruling party lawmakers were deadly silent and some members stared into empty space.

Although Democratic Party lawmaker Sakurai Mitsuru asked a question to Abe, Yamamoto Kozo, who is appointed to Minister of State for the Promotion of Overcoming Population Decline and Vitalizing Local Economy in Japan, stood up to respond instead of PM Abe.

“You were not questioned! Prime Minister was!” The meeting room erupted with the voices of anger raised by opposition lawmakers. Yamamoto said, “You are asking the prime minister about the details. I do not think the prime minister knows.” Amid a flurry of criticisms from opposition legislators, the meeting was stopped.
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