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Gist of interpellations at Lower House Budget Committee intensive session, Feb. 24

The following is the gist of interpellations at the House of Representatives Budget Committee intensive session on Feb. 24:

 

Moritomo Gakuen issue

 

Nobuyuki Fukushima (Democratic Party [DP]): Did your wife resign as honorary principal of Moritomo Gakuen?

 

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe: In light of recent events, I talked with my wife, so she resigned as honorary principal. At first my wife had declined to become the honorary principal, but they applauded during a speech, so she was not able to turn down the position in public. With regard to the name “Shinzo Abe Memorial Elementary School,” it is extremely regrettable that this name was used for fundraising even though I had disapproved. I protested and they have apologized.

 

Fukushima: Are you sympathetic to the school’s educational principles?

 

Abe: I know about these principles from the school’s brochure, but I don’t know the details of the school’s activities at all.

 

Fukushima: Can you state categorically that there was no intervention by politicians in the sale of this government-owned land?

 

Abe: My wife and I and my office were not involved. As the prime minister, I am not in a position to answer for other politicians.

 

Masato Imai (DP): It seems that the Prime Minister’s name was used to collect improper donations.

 

Abe: My name was used without my permission. I have to say that (the chairperson of the board of trustees) acted improperly as an educator.

 

Yuichiro Tamaki (DP): There needs to be a thorough investigation.

 

Abe: The Board of Audit with independent powers will investigate this matter. I am sure it will fulfill its responsibility.

 

Takeshi Miyamoto (Japanese Communist Party): Documents were found showing officials of the construction company building the Moritomo Gakuen elementary school and officials of the Kinki Local Finance Bureau met in September 2015. Are there any records of the negotiations and meetings?

 

Finance Ministry Financial Bureau Director General Nobuhisa Sagawa: Under the ministry’s rules on archiving, administrative documents are discarded after a case is closed. In this case, which was considered closed after the signing of the sales contract, there are no longer any records. (Abridged)

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