Former Abe Aide Admits Meeting with Kake Officials
Tokyo, May 10 (Jiji Press)--Tadao Yanase, former executive secretary to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, admitted Thursday that he had met with officials of the school operator at the center of an Abe-linked favoritism scandal over a veterinary school project.
Giving unsworn testimony before the Budget Committee of the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of Japan's parliament, Yanase said he met with officials of Kake Educational Institution, headed by an old friend of Abe, at the prime minister's office on three occasions in 2015.
Yanase said he told the Kake officials at the time that deregulation to realize a new veterinary school opening was "a matter that the prime minister will consider swiftly." But he denied having received any instruction from Abe on the matter at the time.
In April this year, the Kake group opened a university faculty of veterinary medicine in a national strategic special zone for deregulation in Imabari, Ehime Prefecture, western Japan, the first such university department established in Japan in 52 years.
Ehime Prefecture has found a memo by a prefectural government official that quoted Yanase as telling Kake as well as Ehime and Imabari government officials on April 2, 2015 that the veterinary school plan was "a matter related to the prime minister."
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]