Abe says wife's behavior not inappropriate
NHK -- Mar 28
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has dismissed criticism of his wife attending a gathering to view cherry blossoms at a time when such a meeting is not recommended because of the threat of the coronavirus.

Hideya Sugio of the opposition Constitutional Democratic Party asked Abe a question at an Upper House committee meeting on Friday.

Sugio said a photo is circulating on the Internet showing Abe's wife Akie in a group of people viewing cherry blossoms in Tokyo. He added that the photo is also expected to appear in a weekly magazine. Sugio questioned whether, as the first lady, her act was appropriate.

Abe said he was told that the venue was a restaurant -- a private space -- and that during the gathering with her acquaintances, his wife took a commemorative photo with them in front of cherry trees.

The prime minister said it is not the case that she and others held a party at a park -- something that the Tokyo metropolitan government is calling on people to refrain from doing.

News source: NHK
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