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Kake Gakuen: “The Prime Minister’s Matter”

SNA (Tokyo) — The following stories were reported today by the Shingetsu News Agency.

Kake Gakuen Scandal

Asahi Shinbun scoop. Records show that in April 2015 an aide to the prime minister, Tadao Yanase, visited local officials in Imabari city and lobbied for the construction of the Kake Gakuen veterinary school. The local officials recorded Yanase called it “the prime minister’s matter.”

—Two clarifications: 1) The meeting took place at the Kantei on April 2, 2015; 2) Yanase testified in the Diet last July that he had “no memory” of meeting any officials from Imabari or Ehime Prefecture over the matter (now proven to be yet more false testimony to the Diet).

—Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan has already demanded that former aide to the prime minister Tadao Yanase be brought before the Diet as a sworn witness to talk about his role in the Kake Gakuen scandal.

—Both Liberal Democratic Party Secretary-General Toshihiro Nikai and Komeito leader Natsuo Yamaguchi refrain from defending the Abe government over the latest Kake Gakuen revelation, saying only that there is a responsibility to explain the facts.

—Abe aide Tadao Yanase to local officials of Imabari in April 2015: “The minimum condition is that local governments have an awareness that the plan must be realized even if they stake their lives on it.” Translation: You must do what the prime minister demands of you.

—By any reasonable, logical measure, this is another revelation that should be a death blow for the Abe administration. Too bad we live in unreasonable times, when whatever tortured, illogical defense powerful men choose to make will be treated much more seriously than deserved.

—Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga rejects opposition parties’ demand to call Tadao Yanase as a sworn witness to the Diet, saying he has testified in the past and that is sufficient. “The matter is over,” Suga declares.

—Ehime Governor Tokihiro Nakamura confirms that the documents published by the Asahi Shinbun today are genuine.

—Kake Gakuen Scandal — 2015 Document: “This matter is the prime minister’s matter.” Shinzo Abe: “No one has said that I was involved in it.”

—Confronted with the documentary evidence of his meeting with Imabari city officials on April 2, 2015, when he demanded that they “stake their lives” on realizing the plan to build the Kake Gakuen facility, Tadao Yanase’s defense is that he “has no memory” of ever meeting them.

—Lying about the existence of official documents appears to be standard operating procedure in Abe’s Japan. Apparently, the document published by the Asahi this morning is yet another document previously said not to exist. Lies, forgeries, deceptions pile one upon another.

Politics

—Prime Minister Shinzo Abe insists there was no problem with the legitimacy of the October 2017 general election even if the Diet had been given falsified Moritomo Gakuen documents by the Finance Ministry.

—Prime Minister Shinzo Abe tells the Diet that public heckling of his campaign speeches amounts to “obstructing campaign activities.” Limit opposition questioning, attack the news media, threaten the public critics. Is there any part of democracy that Shinzo Abe truly supports?

—Saitama Governor Kiyoshi Ueda becomes Chairman of the National Governors’ Association after no other candidate appears.

—House of Councillors lawmaker Hideya Sugio applies to resign from the Democratic Party. He is not interested in joining the new merged party with the Party of Hope and figures now is the time to jump ship and apply to join the more viable Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan.

—Ichiro Ozawa apparently wants to merge his own Liberal Party into the new opposition party to be created in May between most of the Democratic Party and the Party of Hope. Not clear if Ozawa will be welcomed.

International

—Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga says he needs surgery to remove a tumor in his pancreas. He also faces an election at the end of the year and has yet to announce whether or not he will run for reelection.

Society

—Masazo Nonaka, 112, certified as the oldest man in the world. He was born in 1905, before the end of the Russo-Japanese War.

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