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Scandal-hit school corporation hits back at LDP legislator, alleges 'forced' donations

A scandal-hit school corporation has hit back at ruling Liberal Democratic Party legislator Yoshitada Konoike, who said his office was lobbied by the corporation's head and his wife over a land deal, accusing Konoike's aides of demanding political donations.

In a statement posted on the website of an elementary school it plans to open in April, Moritomo Gakuen says the corporation "only has a feeling of disgust" toward the legislator's attempt to "hush up the fact that (his aides) forced us to extend donations."

Moreover, the statement points out that Konoike's explanation "contains inconsistencies in chronological order and phrases that lack rationality." It says, "We will now refrain from making a counterargument, for the benefit of children who are looking forward to entering the school," and adds that the corporation will "wait for permission" to establish the school.

Konoike's office denied that it demanded donations from the corporation. "We only enclose cash transfer forms in reports on the legislator's activities we send to his supporters. We never try to force any supporter to extend donations to the lawmaker," an official of his office said.

A political fund management organization for Konoike, former state minister for disaster management, received a combined 200,000 yen in political donations from the corporation in 2014 and 2015.

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