Abe Govt's Handling of Documents under Fire Again

Politics

Tokyo, Nov. 22 (Jiji Press)--The government of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is under fire for its handling of documents again, this time over a state-funded annual cherry blossom-viewing party at the heart of yet another cronyism scandal.

The Abe administration was previously criticized for failing to immediately confirm documents related to a scandal involving Kake Educational Institution, headed by a close friend of Abe, and condemned for tampering with those related to a scandal concerning Moritomo Gakuen, a school operator once linked to his wife, Akie.

Over the prime minister-hosted cherry blossom party, the government has told parliament that the list of guests for this year's party was destroyed on May 9, the same day that a Japanese Communist Party lawmaker made a disclosure request for related documents.

At a parliamentary meeting on Wednesday, a senior Cabinet Office official explained that the timing was a coincidence "resulted from various coordination efforts."

The official claimed that the papers containing the guest list were supposed to be scrapped soon after the party, held in April, but a large shredder was unavailable at the time.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press