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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 November 15 - 21  > Gov’t allows Abe’s friend to open veterinary school as exceptional case
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2017 November 15 - 21 [POLITICS]

Gov’t allows Abe’s friend to open veterinary school as exceptional case

November 15, 2017
The Education Ministry on November 14 approved school corporation Kake Gakuen’s plan to establish a veterinary school amid public suspicions that Prime Minister Abe Shinzo used his power to help Kake’s president, who is Abe’s close friend, have the plan approved.

The Education Ministry’s decision is irregular given that the ministry has a policy of not allowing for a new veterinary school and it had not given a green light for half a century. This policy is in line with the Agriculture Ministry’s assessment that the supply of veterinarians is sufficiently met. However, the Education Ministry accepted the Kake application to open a veterinary school in Ehime’s Imabari City after the city was designated as a national strategic special economic zone by a government panel that PM Abe chairs. Under the current schedule, the new school will open in April 2018.

PM Abe is alleged to have pressured the Education Ministry to approve his friend’s application. Evidence of Abe’s interference is found in leaked documents that were written by Education Ministry officials as well as in testimonies of former Administrative Vice Education Minister Maekawa Kihei.

Abe denies the allegation and disregarded opposition parties’ request to summon the Kake Gakuen president to the Diet. The Japanese Communist Party and other opposition parties are demanding thorough deliberations on the cronyism scandal in the ongoing special session of the Diet.

Past related articles:
> JCP lawmakers question ex-bureaucrat as unsworn witness over ‘Kake Gakuen’ scandal [July 11, 2017]
> Ex-Education Ministry bureaucrat: PM Abe’s aide exerts pressure to open veterinary school [May 31, 2017]
> Education ministry stores document indicating Abe’s involvement in Kake Gakuen scandal [May 19, 2017]
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