FORMER PM ABE, WHO PAID FOR DINNER MEETINGS, APOLOGISES


27/12/2020




Selin ATAY-TDO- In Japan, it has emerged that former prime minister Shinzo Abe’s dinner meetings with his supporters between 2013 and 2019 were met with a violation of the law on controlling political funds.

The former prime minister's secretary, Haikawa Hiroyuki, was fined 1 million yen (about $ 10 thousand) by the Tokyo Attorney General's Office's Special Investigations Department for failing to maintain legally required financial records.

It was decided not to bring a case against the former prime minister, who was referred to the voluntary statement earlier in the week, on the grounds that there was insufficient evidence that he was aware of the erroneous reporting. Abe apologized publicly at a news conference after the prosecutors ' decision. "I wholeheartedly accept that I have a heavy political responsibility," Abe said in his speech. I will do everything I can to restore the trust of the people," he said.

Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide had defended Abe in his remarks about the allegations during his time as Chief Cabinet Secretary. "It turned out that my(previous) statements were not true, "Prime Minister Suga said today, and apologized to the public.

Former Prime Minister Abe Shinzo led a group of voters in his home state, holding dinner meetings at two luxury hotels in Tokyo between 2013 and 2019. It turned out that the cost of dinner meetings, where the participation fee was about $ 50, totaled more than $ 220 thousand.

Despite the non-retained income-expense balance records, the staff of Abe's office in charge of financial affairs is expected to cover the remaining total $ 87k cost gap of the meetings in violation of the Political Funds Act. Abe has repeatedly denied allegations in parliamentary sessions that the spending was covered by state coffers, despite the cost gap being revealed in November 2019.


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