Abe Denies Violating Laws over Cherry Blossom Party


Tokyo, Nov. 15 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday denied violating the public offices election law or the political funds control law over his hosting of an annual cherry blossom-viewing party.

"All the costs of travel and accommodation, including for a dinner party, are shouldered by guests," Abe told reporters. "There was no income to or spending by his offices," he said.

Abe said guests paid travel expenses and accommodation fees to travel agencies and that his office received 5,000 yen per person in participation fees for the dinner for the annual event on behalf of the hotel.

Opposition lawmakers claim that Abe may have violated the public offices election law if his side covered related costs or the political funds control law if it failed to describe related financial transactions in its political funds reports.

On a claim that 5,000 yen was too little for dinner at the hotel, Abe said, "The hotel side set the price based on the fact that many of the invitees were its own guests."

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press