Jiji Press MATSUYAMA (Jiji Press) — Ehime Gov. Tokihiro Nakamura on Friday presented new materials to challenge parliamentary testimony by a key government official involved in a favoritism scandal.
The governor released a business card of the key official, Tadao Yanase, former executive secretary to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, that was kept at the prefectural government.
Also released was a memo on the explanations given to Yanase at the prime minister’s office from an Ehime government official about the veterinary school project at the center of the Abe-linked favoritism scandal.
The school in question was opened last month in a national strategic special zone for deregulation in Imabari, Ehime Prefecture, by Kake Educational Institution, headed by an old friend of Abe. It was the first such university department to be established in Japan in 52 years.
Giving unsworn testimony before the Diet Thursday, Yanase, now vice minister for international affairs at the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry, admitted meeting Kake officials at the prime minister’s office in 2015.
But he also said that he does not have any clear memory of meeting with Ehime officials or hold any name cards of such officials.
“The testimony was very regrettable because it included things that may affect trust in Ehime Prefecture,” Nakamura told a press conference.
The business card of Yanase released by the governor was stamped with the date April 2, 2015, apparently showing when the Ehime official met with Yanase.
The newly released memo contains explanations about the need to establish the veterinary medicine faculty, as well as on related efforts by the prefecture and the city of Imabari.
The new materials added to a different memo made by the prefecture that has been heavily reported about by the media. This memo quoted Yanase as telling officials of Kake and the Ehime and Imabari governments on April 2, 2015, that the veterinary school plan was “a matter related to the prime minister.”Speech