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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 April 11 - 17  > Notes taken by Ehime Pref. official: Kake Gakuen new faculty is matter of interest to Prime Minister
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2018 April 11 - 17 TOP3 [POLITICS]

Notes taken by Ehime Pref. official: Kake Gakuen new faculty is matter of interest to Prime Minister

April 11, 2018

Akahata recently obtained notes which suggest the fact that the school corporation Kake Gakuen had received a strong boost from the Prime Minister's Office for the establishment of a new veterinary school.

The materials are memorandum records of meetings held by an Ehime prefectural government official, an Ehime's Imabari City official and a Kake Gakuen executive with Fujiwara Yutaka (former senior official of the Cabinet Office) and with Yanase Tadao (former secretary to the Prime Minister).

Fujiwara

According to the records, the local governments officials and the Kake Gakuen head secretary met with Fujiwara on the morning of April 2, 2015. Fujiwara said to the three, "I have it on the Prime Minister's Office about the contents of your request." Fujiwara also said, "The Ehime prefectural government, the Imabari City government, Kake Gakuen, and the national government will work together to proceed with the project (to open a new veterinary department)."

Fujiwara even advised that "features different from the existing veterinary colleges" be added "in order to not directly be in confrontation" with the Japan Veterinary Medical Association which is opposed to the setting up of a new veterinary medicine faculty.

Yanase

At around 3:00 p.m. on the same day, the three persons met with Prime Minister Abe's secretary Yanase at the Prime Minister's Office. Yanase allegedly said to them, "This project is a matter concerning the Prime Minister."

According to the notes, Yanase instructed them to be formally interviewed by Fujiwara about the plan.

Fujiwara is the bureaucrat who, reportedly after the meeting with the three, pressured the Ministry of Education into approving the opening of a new veterinary department by implying that it was a request "passed on from the highest-level people in the Prime Minister's Office" and that it was "the intent of the Prime Minister".

In response to the revelation of these notes, Yanase on April 10 commented, "To the best of my recollection, I never met anyone from Ehime Prefecture or Imabari City (to discuss the issue)."

He, in response to Diet questions in July last year, repeatedly stated, "I have no memory" of meeting with them. Prime Minister Abe has also continued to deny his own involvement.

Ehime governor accepts the memo as genuine

Ehime Governor Nakamura Tokihiro on April 10 held a press conference at the prefectural government office and announced that the memoranda in question were written by a prefectural government official in preparation for a verbal report to the governor.

Nakamura explained that earlier on that day he met officials who were engaged in the promotion of a Kake Gakuen veterinary school in 2015. He said that one of the officials agreed to compiling the records.

The governor noted that copies of the memos might be handed to relevant ministries officials when the prefecture petitioned the central government after the meeting in question as part of efforts to approve the veterinary school.

Former top education ministry bureaucrat: Notes are crucial

Former Administrative Vice Minister of Education Maekawa Kihei on April 10 said to the press that the memoranda indicate that the Prime Minister’s staff actually gave a helping hand to Kake Gakuen.

The former bureaucrat said that the documents show that on April 2, 2015 the staff of the PM’s Office had already worked to help realize Kake Gakuen’s bid to establish a veterinary school.

Maekawa pointed out that no government official would dare to use the expression “a matter concerning the prime minister” if PM Abe said nothing about the matter. He also pointed out that the secretary to the Prime Minister is often regarded as an official representing the Prime Minister. A person in this position never meets guests at the PM’s Office without the PM’s consent/instruction in advance and without reporting to the Prime Minister after any meeting.

Maekawa said that if the records are labeled by the government as fake, it will be necessary to summon relevant persons to testify in the Diet under oath in order to find out whether these materials are genuine. He went on to say that possible witnesses include Yanase, Fujiwara, and the Kake Gakuen president.

Past related articles:
> Abe’s aide repeatedly claims ‘I don’t remember’ over Kake Gakuen scandal [July 25, 2017]
> JCP lawmakers question ex-bureaucrat as unsworn witness over ‘Kake Gakuen’ scandal [July 11, 2017]
> ‘Kake Gakuen’ related-materials alluding PM pressure existed in ministry [June 17, 2017]
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