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Ex-Japan PM Shinzo Abe may be summoned to parliament in funding case-sources

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Shinzo Abe

Tokyo, Japan – Lawmakers may summon Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to parliament amid a row. This is over a possible violation of election funding laws, several government and ruling party sources told Reuters on Thursday.

The ruling bloc is arranging to summon Abe on Friday for questioning at steering committees. The sources said on condition of anonymity. It’s also considering whether to place the sessions online to open them to the general public, they said.

Abe, who stepped down citing ill health in September, is under fire on suspicion his office helped cover the prices of dinner parties for supporters. Which is a possible violation of funding laws that he denied when questioned in parliament last year.

Abe will provide a press conference on Thursday from 18:00 local time (0900 GMT). A staffer who answered the phone at his office told Reuters, without confirming whether it’ll be about the issue.

Tokyo prosecutors on Thursday handed a summary indictment against Abe’s secretary, Hiroyuki Haikawa. However, they had decided to not press charges against Abe, domestic media reported.

Prosecutors had been building a case against the 61-year-old over unreported funds involving the maximum amount as 40 million yen ($386,210).

Haikawa wasn’t immediately available for comment.

Abe had appeared for voluntary questioning on Monday about the difficulty and again denied his involvement, media said.

The issue risks hurting current Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who was Abe’s supporter during his 2012-2020 tenure and defended him in parliament.

 

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