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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 October 17 - 23  > Reshuffled Abe Cabinet tainted with money scandals in its 1st month
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2018 October 17 - 23 [POLITICS]

Reshuffled Abe Cabinet tainted with money scandals in its 1st month

October 20, 2018

Within less than a month after the reshuffled fourth Abe Cabinet was inaugurated, money scandals involving Cabinet members have begun to surface one after another.

On October 18, a Liberal Democratic Party branch headed by Reconstruction Minister Watanabe Hiromichi was found to have accepted a political donation from a company that had indirectly received a state subsidy. It is illegal for a political party to accept a donation from a state subsidy recipient company.

At around the same time, another scandal involving Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Land Kudo Shozo was revealed. LDP lawmaker Kudo’s political fund management organization and his local branch failed to include in their political funding reports revenues received at a meeting where participants made contributions. Kudo apologized for the mistake, saying that his staff already made corrections in the reports in September.

In addition, a far more serious allegation has come out. The latest issue of the weekly magazine “Shukan Bunshun” reported that Regional Revitalization Minister Katayama Satsuki in 2015 used her influence over the national tax authority in order to help a business owner with tax problems and that she received one million yen from the owner through her private secretary at that time. The company owner and the former secretary admitted to the fact, according to the magazine. If a Dietmember receives money in exchange for exerting his/her influence, such an act constitutes a serious crime punishable by up to three years in prison.

This recent series of scandals mirrors the attitude of Prime Minister Abe Shinzo who keeps refusing to explain about his alleged involvement in the “Moritomo” and “Kake” favoritism scandals. Cabinet members who were chosen by the scandal-tainted prime minister have kindred spirits.

Past related articles:
> Education Minister in right-leaning new Abe Cabinet supports 1890 Rescript on Education [October 4, 2018]
> 4th Abe Cabinet reflects Abe's rightwing, anti-constitution position: JCP Koike [October 3, 2018]
> Agriculture Minister should be accountable for dubious money received from sugar industry [February 21, 2015]
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