National / Politics

Civic group to file complaint against Abe over alleged election law violations

JIJI

A civic group has said that it will soon file a complaint with prosecutors over alleged election law violations by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe when he hosted an annual cherry blossom-viewing party.

The group said Monday it will file the complaint with the Tokyo District Public Prosecutor’s Office, claiming that Abe may have broken the public offices election law and the political funds control law with the government-funded event.

At a news conference in Tokyo, members of the group said that if Abe’s office covered costs for a dinner event held at a luxury Tokyo hotel on the eve of the annual party, that would be considered a donation, which is banned under the election law.

They also said that because a sightseeing tour that included attendance at the party was part of Abe’s activities for his supporters, related revenues and expenses should have been logged in political funds reports.

“Abe used the (government-funded) event for activities for his supporters. This cannot be forgiven,” said Kenichi Asano, a 71-year-old journalist and a member of the civic group.

The group, made up of some 50 people, including journalists and local assembly members, will seek supporters through the internet, it said.