Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Meddled in Appointments in 2016

Politics

Tokyo, Oct. 13 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Kazuhiro Sugita intervened in the appointments of members of a Council for Cultural Affairs subdivision in 2016, former vice education minister Kihei Maekawa said Tuesday.

Maekawa made the statement at a joint hearing by opposition parties, including the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, over Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga's controversial rejection of the appointments of six nominees recommended by the Science Council of Japan as its members.

According to Maekawa, he was summoned by Sugita about a week after submitting a list of candidates for the subdivision around August 2016. Sugita told the then vice minister to change two candidates.

"Sugita reprimanded me, saying, 'It's not good to appoint people who criticize the government,'" Maekawa said, adding that the education ministry replaced the two candidates with new ones.

Of the two, one was in the academic world and the other in the cultural field. Their activities included participation in a group of scholars opposing the controversial national security legislation and criticism of the administration of then Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Suga's predecessor, according to Maekawa.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press