Several Japanese media revealed that people around former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe admitted that Abe had discounted money to entertain supporters for many consecutive years, and said that Abe did not know.
After Abe became Prime Minister for the second time in 2012, Abe Support Society has held an annual dinner at a high-end hotel on the eve of the government-sponsored “Cherry Appreciation” since 2013 to entertain Abe’s supporters. Prosecutors are investigating whether Abe is suspected of illegally paying part of the banquet.
The Daily News and Asahi Shimbun quoted people around Abe on the 24th as saying that Abe did pay part of the expenses and was not recorded in the political fund income and expenditure report.
According to people around the Daily News, Abe began to pay part of the cost for his first dinner. Abe himself noticed it in November or December last year and called the secretary to ask if “the office has paid” and got a negative answer. The Prime Minister’s secretary called again to confirm that the secretary gave the same reply. The secretary said that since it was not recorded in the report on the income and expenditure of political funds, he lied to be able to reconcile the accounts.
According to people around the Asahi Shimbun, Abe asked the secretary whether the firm had advanced funds before being questioned by Congress last year. The secretary said that he did not. The secretary knew that this expense should be recorded in the report on the income and expenditure of political funds, but it was not recorded since the first dinner party in 2013, and this practice has been continued since then.
The above-mentioned people said that the secretary told Abe about it on the 23rd of this month.
Abe said in a parliamentary inquiry last year that the staff of the firm charged each participant a admission fee of 5,000 yen (about 314 yuan) at the entrance of the dinner venue, and then transferred the money to the hotel hosting the dinner party. His support club “has no income and expenditure at all, so it does not need to be recorded in the political fund income and expenditure report”. , and the “the firm side has not covered” the cost. He also refused to provide receipts and details.
Abe told media reporters in Congress on the 24th that the firm is fully cooperating with the investigation, and “there is no answer at other current stage”.
Japanese media reported that from 2013 to 2019, such dinners were held every year, paying 5,000 yen per participant, but there was a gap with actual consumption, which was filled by Abe. From 2015 to 2019 alone, a total of 8 million to 9 million yen (about 500,000 to 560,000 yuan) were paid. Yuan).
Hundreds of lawyers and scholars initiated criminal proceedings in May this year, finding that this practice violated the Law on Elections for Public Offices and the Law on the Regulation of Political Funds.
Since 1952, the Japanese government has held a cherry blossom appreciation party in the capital Tokyo Shinjuku Imperial Garden. Representatives from all walks of life are invited to enjoy cherry blossoms with the Prime Minister at the expense of the government. During Abe’s rule, the number and cost of cherry blossom appreciation parties have increased significantly. The opposition party determined that a large number of Abe supporters were invited to participate, which was for public and private use.