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Gist of interpellations at Lower House Budget Committee, Nov. 27, 2017

The following is the gist of interpellations at the House of Representatives Budget Committee on Nov. 27, 2017:

 

Moritomo Gakuen, Kake Gakuen issues

 

Norihisa Tamura (Liberal Democratic Party [LDP]): Your explanation to the people on the Moritomo Gakuen and Kake Gakuen issues is still inadequate.

 

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe: We will deal with this matter humbly and offer thorough explanations in order to obtain the people’s understanding.

 

Isshu Sugawara (LDP): How will you respond to the Board of Audit’s report on the Moritomo Gakuen case?

 

Abe: The government must take the issues raised seriously. There must be no cause for the people to have suspicions.

 

Sugawara: You must introduce reforms for the flawless management of public documents.

 

Abe: We will revise the guidelines for the management of administrative documents within this year in order to enhance the people’s trust. We intend to improve the quality of document management.

 

Sugawara: The existence of voice data on what would appear to be a price negotiation between the Finance Ministry and Moritomo Gakuen before the contract for the sale of land was signed has been confirmed.

 

Director General Mitsuru Ota of Finance Ministry’s Financial Bureau: We are not aware of Moritomo Gakuen’s proposing a price before a property price appraisal was made and the Ministry had not proposed a price.

 

Yuzuru Takeuchi (Komeito): Was the estimate of the cost of disposing of waste buried underground (in the Moritomo Gakuen case) appropriate? What do you think of the Board of Audit’s report?

 

Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transportation and Tourism Keiichi Ishii: The estimate was made within two weeks after a request was made by the Finance Ministry’s Kinki Financial Bureau. We take the questions raised by the Board of Audit seriously and will devote sufficient time to perform our duties meticulously from now on.

 

Akira Nagatsuma (Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan): You should apologize for your previous statements in the Diet that the sale of government-owned land to Moritomo Gakuen was handled properly.

 

Abe: I have been informed that the Finance Ministry and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transportation and Tourism handled the sale of land properly. We take the Board of Audit’s report seriously.

 

Nagatsuma: Mrs. Akie Abe, who once served as the honorary principal of the elementary school Moritomo Gakuen was planning to open, should be summoned to the Diet.

 

Abe: Please understand that I am answering (the questions) here.

 

Sugawara: It is said that since the head of Kake Gakuen is a friend of the Prime Minister, there must have been something going on.

 

Abe: I have never given any specific instructions on this matter.

 

(Abridged)

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