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Yasunori Kagoike and the Akheed Scandal

SNA (Tokyo) — Principal Yasunori Kagoike of Moritomo Gakuen claims he was secretly given money by Akie Abe, wife of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Transcript

Principal Yasunori Kagoike of Moritomo Gakuen: I had always thought that Akie Abe deeply understood our educational philosophies. She came to our kindergarten three times and made a study tour and was made the Honorary Principal of the elementary school on September 5, 2015. On that same day she came into a room and I met her and she asked other people to leave the room. When the two of us were alone, she handed me an envelope while saying, “This is from Shinzo Abe.” It contained 1 million yen (US$8,900). Akie Abe says she has completely forgotten about it, but for me the honor is clear in my memory.

When issues about the school became Diet discussions, I received an e-mail from Akie Abe. “You and your wife,” it said, “must now be facing some difficult circumstances, but I want you to understand that I and Prime Minister Abe are also facing serious difficulties at this point.” What Akie Abe was suggesting is that she should be kept out of any controversy and she was asking us to keep our mouths shut about her involvement.

They had told us they were so happy about our school and how much their philosophy was like ours. They praised the dedication of our teaching staff. The prime minister himself had said so. So why have the Abes changed now? We worked so hard to educate the children, but now the Abes’ behavior toward us has changed. The huge drop in the price of the state land was done through a long official process, so the guilt cannot all be simply hung on me when so many other people must have been involved. I was thankful to be able to speak of this in the Diet.

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