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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 March 14 - 20  > Education Ministry exerts pressure on public junior high school in Nagoya
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2018 March 14 - 20 TOP3 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Education Ministry exerts pressure on public junior high school in Nagoya

March 17, 2018

It has come to light that the Education Ministry pressed a Nagoya City-run junior high school to submit personal information of participants and video data regarding a class given by an ex-ministry bureaucrat who testified about Prime Minister Abe’s involvement in the “Kake” scandal.

The revelation aroused public criticism that the ministry’s act of commanding the school to report on the class violates the principles of the Constitution and is unjust control over school education prohibited under the Fundamental Law of Education.

Former Administrative Vice Minister of Education Maekawa Kihei last year appeared before the Diet as an unsworn witness in regard to a scandal over the establishment of a new veterinary department by the Kake Gakuen school corporation whose president is PM Abe’s close friend. Maekawa testified that in the background of the plan to open a new faculty lies the influence of the Prime Minister’s Office.

The Education Ministry in February learned from press reports about the fact that Maekawa gave a lecture at a public junior high school in Nagoya City.

The ministry on March 1 e-mailed the Nagoya City Board of Education a 15-point inquiry into the lecture. The inquiry asked: why the school invited Maekawa to give the lecture; how much the school remunerated Maekawa; and how many people attended the lecture. In the e-mail, the ministry also requested the school to submit records of the lecture, including video data, and detailed information about the attendees.

The city education commission on March 5 answered all 15 questions by e-mail. On the following day, the Education Ministry e-mailed a follow-up question pressing the school to explain the reason for holding the lecture by Maekawa and to submit all taped records.

In response to an Akahata inquiry, the Education Ministry insisted that it sent the e-mails just to verify press reports, not to give instructions regarding the school’s program. The ministry also denied its intention to exercise pressure on the school.

Experts said, “The Education Ministry has no authority to involve itself in school education in a direct way. The ministry’s act was an act of power harassment.”

Past related articles:
> JCP lawmakers question ex-bureaucrat as unsworn witness over ‘Kake Gakuen’ scandal [July 11, 2017]
> Ex-Vice Minister of Education: Documents are genuine [May 26, 2017]

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