Japan school operator in land deal scandal says getting donation from Abe's wife Xinhua
TOKYO, March 23 (Xinhua) -- Yasunori Kagoike, a school operator in a land deal scandal in Japan, testified under oath on Thursday that he received 1 million yen (8,900 U.S. dollars) from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's wife Akie.
Kagoike, head of Moritomo Gakuen school, said in the House of Councillors Budget Committee that Akie gave him an envelop containing 1 million yen on behalf of her husband before giving a speech at the kindergarten run by the school operator on Sept. 5, 2015.
He also said that the prime minister's wife had sent emails requiring them to hush up about the donation.
When answering questions from a lawmaker from the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) about the cut-price land deal, he said under oath that he thought politician intervention was involved.
There has been an escalating furor surrounding Moritomo Gakuen for a cut-price land deal for the operator to purchase a plot of land from the government at a massively discounted price with the land to be used to build a new elementary school.
Abe's wife Akie was supposed to serve as the honorary principal of the would-be school, but has since stepped down as the scandal widened and video of the school's nationalist agenda began to be beamed across social media platforms and regular broadcasting sites.
After giving sworn testimony before the House of Councillors Budget Committee in the morning, Yasunori Kagoike will move to the House of Representatives panel in the afternoon, government sources close to the matter said early on Thursday morning.
Abe has on many occasions denied involvement in the land deal.
The scandal which analysts say presents the most serious crisis for Abe since he returned to office in 2012 and appears likely to further erode his support rates.Editor: Yamei