Education in Japan(Natalie Collor)
In February of this year, it was revealed that an Osaka-based education entity called Moritomo Gakuen purchased government land at a discounted rate. This institution had plans to build a one-of-a-kind private school that educated students based on conservative, nationalist views, but its construction plans were put on hold after this controversial incident. The news that a conservative, nationalist institution may have worked closely with the government to illegally obtain cheap land unsurprisingly caused a nationwide scandal, but this was only the beginning of the story.
Yasunori Kagoike, the then Moritomo Gakuen Chairman, publically announced that the institution received a donation of 1 million yen, roughly 9,000 dollars, from Prime Minister Abe for the school’s construction. Kagoike claimed that the donation was given to him through Akie Abe, the prime minister’s wife. Less than two weeks later, Prime Minister Abe gave an official response that if he or his wife were found to be involved with this deal, he would give up his roles as prime minister and a member of the Diet.
In late March, Kagoike was summoned to the National Diet for testimony regarding this scandal, and he again claimed that he received a donation directly from Akie Abe. In addition, he testified that there were other Diet members from Osaka involved in this scandal, thus generating even more attention from the media.
In April, Kagoike stepped down as the Chairman, and those duties were passed on to his oldest daughter, Mrs. Chinami. Moritomo Gakuen adopted an altered plan for the construction of its school, and at the end of the month, the city of Osaka decided to begin paperwork to implement these plans and move forward with the construction of this school, despite not having answers to very important questions regarding this messy situation.
- NHKニュース「大学教授が『森友学園』交渉記録復元求める仮処分申し立て」,2017/06/06. http://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/20170606/k10011008161000.html?utm_int=nsearch_contents_search-items_003
- the japan times NEWS「Moritomo Gakuen scandal another history Japan’s nationalists may wish to rewrite」,2017/3/26. http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/03/26/national/moritomo-gakuen-scandal-another-history-japans-nationalists-may-wish-rewrite/#.WTVeEhMrLVo
- 朝日新聞DIGITAL「森友学園に関するトピックス『大阪の国有地売却問題』」 http://www.asahi.com/topics/word/%E5%A4%A7%E9%98%AA%E3%81%AE%E5%9B%BD%E6%9C%89%E5%9C%B0%E5%A3%B2%E5%8D%B4%E5%95%8F%E9%A1%8C.html
- 朝日新聞デジタル「『森友学園』交渉時のデータ消去へ、財務省がシステム更新 真相究明いっそう険しく」,2017/6/3. http://www.huffingtonpost.jp/2017/06/02/school-moritomo-data-clear_n_16928912.html