In Japan, a scandal over a school threatens to entangle the prime minister - Stripes
In Japan, a scandal over a school threatens to entangle the prime minister
By ANNA FIFIELD | The Washington Post | Published: February 27, 2017
TOKYO ― Japan's prime minister is facing the biggest crisis of his tenure, caught up in a burgeoning scandal that involves a shady land deal, allegations of a coverup and a kindergarten sending out notes about "wicked" Koreans and Chinese.
Shinzo Abe strongly denies any wrongdoing, and his wife, Akie Abe, has resigned as "honorary principal" of the planned school at the center of the firestorm. But the scandal shows no sign of going away anytime soon.
"There are so many questions that need to be answered," said Koichi Nakano, a professor of political science at Sophia University and sharp critic of the Abe government. "We don't know whether Abe was directly involved but even if he wasn't, this will still hurt him."
It all started with a local story about hate speech.
Tsukamoto kindergarten in Toyonaka, Osaka prefecture, sent a letter to parents in which it described Korean residents of Japan and Chinese people as having "wicked ideas," using a derogatory term for Chinese.
Yasunori Kagoike, the chairman of the organization that runs the private kindergarten, has admitted to sending the letter.
A separate note said, "The problem is that people who have inherited the spirit [of Koreans] exist in our country with the looks of Japanese people." Kyodo News reported the contents of the letter, citing a copy obtained from a parent.
(Stars and Stripes)