Opposition Parties Zero In on Antisocial Forces' Participation at Cherry Blossom Party

Politics

Tokyo, Nov. 28 (Jiji Press)--Major Japanese opposition parties are stepping up their criticism of the government for its failure to exclude antisocial forces from a tax-funded annual cherry blossom-viewing party hosted by the prime minister, especially targeting Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, who was in charge in compiling lists of participants.

On Wednesday, the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan and other opposition parties conducted hearings with officials of the National Police Agency and the Cabinet Office over the attendance at the party of a person believed to be a member of an antisocial group.

According to the opposition camp, the Cabinet Office learned of the possibility that an antisocial group member had attended a cherry blossom party from a parliamentary question by a CDPJ lawmaker on Nov. 21.

But the government agency did not consult the NPA after that and showed a negative stance on probing how the person was able to participate in the event. The NPA was unable to learn about individual participants as there were no prior inquiries from the Cabinet Office, an NPA official said.

Opposition lawmakers also raised the topic of the government having sent an invitation letter for the 2015 cherry blossom party to the then chairman of bankrupt Japan Life Co., which was raided by police earlier this year over its allegedly unlawful business practice.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press