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Scandal-linked Kake education group opens vet school in Ehime Pref.

In this April 3, 2018 file photo, Kake Educational Institution head Kotaro Kake addresses new students at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Okayama University of Science, in Imabari, Ehime Prefecture. (Mainichi)

IMABARI, Ehime -- The Kake Educational Institution, which is at the center of a government favoritism scandal, opened a new veterinary department here on April 3.

Commenting on the occasion at the entrance ceremony, Kake institution head Kotaro Kake said, "I want the new department to be a global leader."

Kake Educational Institution is operating the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at Okayama University of Science in a national strategic special zone in Imabari, Ehime Prefecture. A total of 186 freshmen entered the veterinary faculty, which has two departments -- with 147 studying to be veterinarians and 39 studying veterinary nursing.

The government granted permission for a new veterinary school for the first time in 52 years following the opening of a facility at Kitasato University in 1966. Previously, there had been no vet school in the Shikoku region.

Some members of the Diet asked if Prime Minister Abe influenced the approval for the new veterinary department because Kotaro Kake is a close friend of Abe.

At the opening ceremony, Kake said, "We have caused anxiety among many people, but we received more applications to enter the facility than we had expected." A 20-year-old female student of the new vet department said, "I want to learn about infectious disease countermeasures. I do not care much about the approval process which was questioned in the Diet."

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