Ex-PM Abe May Speak before Diet about Cherry Party Scandal

Politics

Tokyo, Dec. 17 (Jiji Press)--The Liberal Democratic Party is seen agreeing to summon former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to the Diet, Japan's parliament, for explanation about a scandal linked to state-funded annual cherry blossom parties, sources said Thursday.

In response to an opposition request, Abe may appear before the Diet for such explanation within this year at the earliest depending on the progress in prosecutors' investigations related to the scandal, the sources at the ruling party said.

At the center of the scandal are dinner events for Abe supporters held in recent years on the eve of annual cherry blossom-viewing parties hosted by then Prime Minister Abe.

It is suspected that Abe's side shouldered part of the costs for the events. But no such spending was recorded in political funds reports for Abe.

The LDP has found it necessary to show a cooperative attitude toward efforts to shed full light on the scandal, given strong calls for Abe's explanation, according to the sources.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press