Please view the main text area of the page by skipping the main menu.

Ex-Japan PM Abe made false statements in Diet 118 times over party expenses scandal

Then Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is seen speaking during a House of Representatives Budget Committee meeting on Feb. 5, 2020, following a question regarding controversial cherry blossom-viewing parties. (Mainichi/Masahiro Kawata)

TOKYO -- The House of Representatives Research Bureau on Dec. 21 disclosed that former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made false statements in the Diet a total of 118 times between November 2019 and March 2020 over allegations surrounding controversial pre-sakura party dinner functions his support group held.

    The finding came after the bureau closely examined records on his answers to questions made during the plenary sessions of both chambers of the Diet and budget panel meetings.

    Abe's aides had earlier admitted that his office had covered part of the expenses for the dinner functions held at hotels in Tokyo, but have said they hadn't told Abe about the payments. The main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDP) nevertheless pointed out that Abe consequently made false statements repeatedly that could be classified into three patterns. The first pattern, the party says, was Abe's insistence that his office was not involved in the payments in question, while the second pattern was his argument that there were no statements of expenses provided by the hotels for the dinner functions, and the third pattern was his claim that his office didn't cover the expenses for the functions.

    Upon the CDP's request for investigation, the lower house Research Bureau examined records and found that Abe had made false answers in the first pattern a total of 70 times, while answers in the second pattern were given 20 times and answers in the third pattern were provided 28 times, for a total of 118 times in 33 different statements.

    Takahiro Kuroiwa, acting Diet affairs chief of the CDP, told reporters, "He (Abe) repeated untruthful statements as many as 118 times. As former Prime Minister Abe said he wants to provide an explanation to the public, we urge him to comply with requests for open summoning in the Diet as a sworn or an unsworn witness."

    (Japanese original by Kenta Miyahara, Political News Department)

    Also in The Mainichi

    The Mainichi on social media