The opposition party asked Abe to be questioned by the two houses on suspicion of private use at public expense, but Yoshihiro Kan refused.
On November 24, 2020, local time, in Tokyo, Japan, former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was interviewed on the banquet held on the eve of the “cherry blossom appreciation party”. The Paper Image
In response to the revelations of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his supporters to receive money to entertain voters, the opposition party of Japan had previously asked Abe to attend the meeting of the budget committees of the Senate and the House of Representatives for questioning on the 25th local time, but Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiro Kan refused this request.
Since 1952, the Japanese government has held a cherry blossom appreciation in the capital Tokyo Shinjuku Miyuan, inviting representatives from all walks of life to enjoy cherry blossoms with the Prime Minister at the expense of the government.” From 2013 to 2019, Abe Shinzo Support Association hosted the eve party of the “Cherry Blossom Appreciation” at the hotel in Tokyo, inviting hundreds of Abe supporters to participate.
Previously, it had been reported that the hotel hosting the banquet had received about 23 million yen ($250k) in five years, but the membership fee charged to the participants was only 14 million yen ($110k). The Abe Support Association for organizing the event collected the entrance from the supporters. There is a gap between the venue fee and actual consumption. Abe advanced more than 8 million yen (about $90k), in violation of the Public Office Election Law and the Political Fund Regulation Law.
Japan’s Daily News reported on the 25th that in response to the opposition party’s request that Abe attend the Congress for questioning on the same day, Yoshihiro Kan said that he had confirmed the matter with Abe and would defend on his behalf, and said: “The matter of Congress will be settled by Congress.” Shigeyuki Gotō, a member of the Budget Committee of the House of Representatives and a member of the Liberal Democratic Party, told reporters, “We cannot let Abe attend Congress for questioning solely on the basis of media reports before the facts are clear.”
Japan’s Kyodo News Agency reported on the 24th, quoting relevant people as saying that people around Abe have now admitted to filling part of the amount of the banquet. According to the report, in the five years to last year, Abe borne the difference between the total amount and the participants’ contributions, and the largest year may have filled about 2.5 million yen ($25k). According to the Japan Broadcasting Association (NHK), the Special Search Department has obtained a receipt and a breakdown of expenditure that can confirm the details of banquet expenses from the hosting the hotel, but Abe’s relevant personage said in an interview that the receipt was not saved and the receipt had been “discarded”.
It is reported that Abe has so far stressed that the full cost of the banquet shall be borne by the participants, and there is no income and expenditure of Abe’s office and the support association. The opposition party believes that the current investigation progress contradicts Abe’s previous denial of the matter, and requests Abe to attend the Diet for questioning, and plans to interview the then Chief Cabinet Secretary and the current Prime Minister. Kan Yiwei was held accountable.
Regarding the re-fermentation of the “cherry blossom appreciation disturbance”, Abe responded to reporters in Congress on the 24th that he had learned about it and would fully cooperate with the prosecution’s search.