Abe denies discussing vet school plan as favoritism scandal deepens
Japan Today -- May 23
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday denied he had knowledge of a veterinary school project at the center of favoritism allegations much earlier than he has previously admitted, as shown in a newly disclosed document.

Abe has maintained that he learned of the project in the western Japan prefecture of Ehime on Jan 20, 2017, when a government economic panel approved the project, but the document presented by the Ehime government to the Diet Monday apparently shows he met with Kotaro Kake, the chief of the school operator, and talked about the project on Feb. 25, 2015.

"The prime minister's office records were checked yesterday, just to be sure," Abe told reporters, but he said no proof of a meeting with Kake was found.

Abe has been dogged by allegations that he used his influence to sway the approval process that led to the opening last month of a veterinary department under a university operated by Kake Educational Institute in Imabari, Ehime.

Opposition parties demanded that the matter be taken up in both chambers of the Diet as the latest document from the prefectural government raises doubts about the credibility of Abe's statement about the school project.

They also demanded that the Ehime governor testify in the Diet, but Abe's ruling Liberal Democratic Party rejected the call.

「新しい獣医大学の考えはいいね」という発言はあったのか。愛媛県が国会に提出した新たな文書が波紋を広げている。面会を否定する総理と加計学園側。野党は加計理事長らの国会招致を求めている。
News sources: Japan Today, ANNnewsCH
Jan 20
Tickets for all of host-nation Japan's Rugby World Cup 2019 pool games have sold out following the start of sales on a first-come, first-serve basis, organizers said Saturday. (Japan Today)
Jan 20
More than half a million high-school students and graduates across Japan are putting their knowledge to the test at unified college and university entrance exams. (NHK)
Jan 20
A public high school in Machida City has apologized to a boy after the emergence online of a video that purportedly shows a male teacher assaulting him, reports Fuji News Network (tokyoreporter.com)
Jan 20
Work began in northeastern Japan on Saturday to tear down a former town hall building where dozens of people died in a tsunami in 2011, despite calls from some residents to preserve it as a memorial. (Japan Today)
Jan 19
The number of suicides in Japan dropped 3.4 percent from a year earlier to 20,598 in 2018, down for the ninth year and the lowest in 37 years amid economic recovery, preliminary data by the National Police Agency showed Friday. (Japan Today)
Jan 19
Japan's Epsilon-4 rocket has put into orbit seven small satellites that were developed by private-sector companies and universities. (NHK)
Jan 19
The body of a man struck by an oncoming train at a station in Fujimi City hit and injured two women on the platform, police said on Friday, reports TV Asahi. (tokyoreporter.com)
Jan 19
Kanagawa Prefectural Police are hunting for a gunman who shot the wife of a boss in the Inagawa-kai criminal syndicate and his male driver on a road in Kawasaki City on Thursday, reports TV Asahi (tokyoreporter.com)
Jan 18
A work of graffiti found at a Tokyo waterfront is receiving special treatment. (NHK)
Jan 17
A Japanese court has ruled that a subway firm's severe evaluation of personnel with beards or mustaches was unfair, and ordered that damages be paid. (NHK)