Abe Denies Link with Dubious Figure Invited to Cherry Party

Politics

Tokyo, Dec. 2 (Jiji Press)--Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Monday that he has never had personal ties with a dubious figure who was invited to an annual prime minister-hosted cherry blossom party in 2015.

Abe made the remark at a House of Councillors plenary meeting, as opposition lawmakers suspect that the invitation for the then Japan Life Co. chairman was issued on the recommendation of the prime minister or someone close to him.

"I can't rule out the possibility of having attended the same meeting (as the person in question), but we have never met in a one-on-one situation," Abe said.

Abe also denied that his wife, Akie, has been acquainted with him.

Japan Life was declared bankrupt in March 2018 after collecting hundreds of billions of yen in the pyramid-scheme business. Following the business failure, which affected some 6,800 customers, mostly older people, the police raided the home of then Chairman Takayoshi Yamaguchi and other related locations on charges of violating the specified commercial transaction law. Police investigations are still under way.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press