Japan prosecutors seek to question ex-PM Shinzo Abe on spending scandal

Japan prosecutors seek to question ex-PM Shinzo Abe on spending scandal
Former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe weathered several scandals while in office, including over the cherry blossom parties. (Reuters)
Short Url
Updated 03 December 2020

Japan prosecutors seek to question ex-PM Shinzo Abe on spending scandal

Japan prosecutors seek to question ex-PM Shinzo Abe on spending scandal
  • Under Japanese law, spending on political events must be reported
  • Former prime minister Shinzo Abe has already denied any wrongdoing

TOKYO: Japanese prosecutors are seeking to question former prime minister Shinzo Abe over a scandal involving the cost of events held for his supporters, local media said Thursday.
Under Japanese law, spending on political events must be reported, but prosecutors allege that Abe’s office failed to do so for dinners his political group organized on the eve of government-sponsored cherry blossom viewing parties.
Public broadcaster NHK said the group paid more than $76,000 for the events over five years until 2019.
The Tokyo Prosecutors Office, which declined to comment on the story, has already questioned Abe’s secretaries for allegedly failing to properly report the cost of the dinners.
NHK and Jiji Press agency said prosecutors wanted to question Abe about his knowledge of the payments.
Abe, who has not yet responded to the prosecutors’ request, has already denied any wrongdoing, saying guests, including voters in his constituency, attended at their own expense.
Abe resigned in September over health issues after becoming the country’s longest-serving premier.
He weathered several scandals while in office, including over the cherry blossom parties, a decades-old tradition intended to honor the great and good for their achievements.
Abe’s government was accused of stacking the event with supporters, and even inviting a member of Japan’s infamous Yakuza mafia.
When the opposition demanded a guest list be produced, it emerged the list had been shredded.
While the government denied wrongdoing, Abe’s successor Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has said he will not hold the event next year.


Russian victim regains consciousness following stabbing attack in Istanbul

Russian victim regains consciousness following stabbing attack in Istanbul
Updated 1 min 16 sec ago

Russian victim regains consciousness following stabbing attack in Istanbul

Russian victim regains consciousness following stabbing attack in Istanbul

LONDON: A Russian woman who was stabbed seven times by a knife-wielding attacker in Istanbul has regained consciousness, her sister said. 
Maria Rosanova, who is the sister of the victim Alexandra, told Life.ru news website that doctors at the hospital said she had regained consciousness and doctors are assessing her condition, according to a report by RT Arabic. 
Alexandra, a fashion model, was a tourist visiting Turkey and had never met the attacker before. 
“The incident not only caused physical suffering to her, but also emotional damage,” her sister said. 
Alexandra was attacked by a Turkish man along with two other Russians, a man and a woman, late on Sunday night. They were taken to hospital but their injuries were not life threatening. 
 The man suspected of attacking the Russians, a local garbage collector, has been detained by police, according to Russian agency Sputnik.
Preliminary reports suggested he was mentally ill.
The attack was caught on camera and widely shared online.
Turkey continues to grapple with high rates of violent crime, particularly murder and attempted murder.