• Jiji


An association for private kindergartens in Japan has revealed that money totaling some ¥320 million became unaccounted for in the three years until fiscal 2019.

According to the Tokyo-based association, the total damage is expected to exceed ¥400 million, including money that went missing in fiscal 2020.

The association is considering lodging a criminal complaint against its former head, Kei Kagawa, 69.

Kagawa has denied that he used the funds for private purposes.

The association said Tuesday that disaster countermeasure funds and other money were withdrawn without the permission of its board of directors in the three years. In the year ending in March, over ¥80 million had been taken out of its bank accounts before Kagawa stepped down as its head.

A related organization for private kindergartens’ parent-teacher associations also saw an improper money outflow in fiscal 2020, totaling over ¥40 million.

In November last year, Kagawa resigned to take responsibility for a large amount of unexplained expenditures at the association, and he paid ¥150 million to help compensate for the spending.

In a probe launched by the association, the then-director-general said that deposits and withdrawals were made under Kagawa’s orders.

The association has found counterfeit passbooks. It said that Kagawa was involved in the fabrications.

Established in 1984, the association is a voluntary group made up of around 7,500 private kindergartens throughout the country.

The head of an educational corporation that runs a kindergarten in the Hofu in Yamaguchi Prefecture, Kagawa served as the association’s head from 2010.

While he also served as a member of the Yamaguchi Prefectural Police Safety Commission, he stepped down from the post on Monday, citing personal reasons.

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