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Moritomo Gakuen chairman says under oath that he received donation from Akie Abe

Yasunori Kagoike
Yasunori Kagoike said under oath in the Diet on Thursday that he received a donation from Akie Abe

TOKYO (TR) – The chairman of a scandal-hit educational body reiterated to the Diet under oath on Thursday that he received a donation from Akie Abe, the wife of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, reports TV Asahi (Mar. 23).

Yasunori Kagoike, chairman of Moritomo Gakuen, testified that he accepted an envelope containing one million yen in cash from Akie, who told him the donation was “from Shinzo Abe.”

Kagoike said he was alone with Akie when he accepted the donation, adding that in exchange he gave her an envelope containing 100,000 yen as lecture fees, Nippon News Nework reported (Mar. 23).

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuhide Suga denied the claims of Kagoike before an assembled press corps on Thursday morning. “A donation was not made by Prime Minister Abe himself or his wife Akie via a third party,” Suga said. “His wife Akie also did not make a donation as an individual.”

Over the past month, Moritomo Gakuen has been embroiled in a scandal over its purchase of government-owned land in Osaka’s Toyonaka City from the Ministry of Finance at a price far below market value for the school, which it planned to open on the site in the spring.

At a meeting at the site of the school on March 16, Kagoike made the same claim about the donation before a number of lawmakers. Prime Minister Abe denied the claim the following day in the Diet.