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Akie Abe in contact with Moritomo Gakuen president's wife even after land deal scandal

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has revealed that his wife Akie Abe has been in touch with the wife of the president of scandal-hit Moritomo Gakuen via email even after a shady land deal involving the school operator surfaced.

The revelation came during a House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs meeting on March 17, in response to a question posed by opposition Democratic Party lawmaker Nobuyuki Fukushima.

According to Fukushima, when lawmakers of four opposition parties visited the home of Moritomo Gakuen President Yasunori Kagoike in Toyonaka, Osaka Prefecture, on March 16, Kagoike's wife received an email message from Akie Abe reading, "I wish you good luck."

The legislators were visiting Osaka Prefecture to investigate the details of a widening scandal around an elementary school that Moritomo Gakuen planned to open in Toyonaka on land purchased from the central government at a heavily discounted price.

Speaking before the lower house committee, Prime Minister Abe said, "It is true that my wife has been exchanging email message with (Kagoike's wife) even after my wife stepped down from the position of honorary president of the elementary school." The prime minister explained that the email correspondence was intended "for my wife to confirm that she didn't receive fees for her speech" that she gave at Moritomo Gakuen's Tsukamoto Kindergarten.

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