Japan PM Abe's wife did not donate to school at centre of scandal: Govt

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife Akie at Haneda Airport in Tokyo, Japan, on Feb 28, 2017.
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife Akie at Haneda Airport in Tokyo, Japan, on Feb 28, 2017.PHOTO: REUTERS

TOKYO (REUTERS) - Japan's top government spokesman said on Friday (March 17) that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's wife did not donate money to a school at the centre of a ballooning political scandal.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga had said on Thursday he had confirmed with Abe that the premier had not made a donation himself or through a third party including his wife, Akie.

He added then that the government was checking on whether Akie herself had donated to Moritomo Gakuen, the school operator.

Abe has denied that either he or his wife intervened in a murky land deal by Moritomo Gakuen or in the process of its getting accreditation for a new school from local authorities.

The educational group runs a kindergarten in western Japan and had planned to open an elementary school with an ultra-conservative curriculum.