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Land scandal threatens to engulf Shinzo Abe

2018-03-13 09:45:23       source:The Times

March 12, 2018

Forged documents, a crooked property deal, a suicide and a nationalist kindergarten where children are taught the ways of prewar militarism: after a year of scandal these shady elements have come together in a political crisis that threatens to overwhelm Shinzo Abe, Japan’s right-wing prime minister.

The scandal centres on Moritomo Gakuen, a kindergarten in Osaka which teaches the patriotism and self-sacrifice that prevailed in prewar Japan. Last year the founders were charged with fraud over a plan to build a nationalist school. The land was sold by the government for the low price of 134 million yen (£910,000), a seventh of its valuation. Opposition politicians allege that the discount was given as a favour by Mr Abe’s government. The “honorary headmistress” was his wife, Akie.

In sworn testimony before parliament last year its founder, Yasunori Kagoike, said that Mrs Abe gave him an envelope containing a million yen as a donation from the prime minister.

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