Ex-PM Abe Willing to Face Diet over Cherry Party Scandal


Tokyo, Dec. 18 (Jiji Press)--Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday expressed his willingness to appear before the Diet, Japan's parliament, for explanation about a scandal linked to state-funded annual cherry blossom parties.

"I will answer in good faith once the investigation produces a result," Abe told reporters. "I will sincerely face the Diet."

The country's opposition parties had been demanding that the former prime minister be summoned to the Diet for explanation.

The ruling bloc is planning to accept the demand and have Abe face questions at a steering committee meeting. But the opposition is looking to grill the former leader in an open session, including by summoning him as a sworn witness. Such a witness could be charged for perjury if he or she gives false testimony.

"(Abe) lied at the Diet, so it is ideal that he speaks in a setting where he could be accused of perjury," Yukio Edano, leader of the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press