(Asahi: February 27, 2015 – p. 4)
There is no end to “politics and money” issues involving Abe cabinet members. At the House of Representatives Budget Committee, where those cabinet members will be pursued, intensive deliberations will be held on Feb. 27 with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe present, following a question and answer session on the 26th. In addition to allegations that Education Minister Hakubun Shimomura’s regional support groups were not registered as political organizations, a political donation issue involving Environment Minister Yoshio Mochizuki has been discovered.
At a Budget Committee session on Feb. 26, Democratic Party of Japan member Michiyoshi Yunoki pointed out allegations that several groups bearing Hakuyukai’s name have carried out political activities such as holding lecture meetings without registering as political organizations. But Shimomura denied its illegality, saying, “[His regional support groups] are not organized for political purposes or for collecting political funds.” He also said: “My office has nothing to do with them. I did not even know there are regulations.”
After the Budget Committee session, DPJ Diet Affairs Committee Chairman Yoshiaki Takagi told reporters that “our doubts have now deepened further,” emphasizing that his party will pursue this issue at intensive deliberations on Feb. 27. All the more because Shimomura, an aide to Abe, is a key person who is promoting a reform of the education system, if doubts are deepened, the administration will be shaken.
There are also allegations that Environment Minister Mochizuki has received donations from a company which had received government subsidies. This case is similar to the fact that Koya Nishikawa resigned as agriculture minister due to his local chapter’s having received money from government-subsidized companies. These issues will likely become the subjects of intensive debate. (Abridged)