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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Former Japanese PM Shinzo Abe holds a information convention in Tokyo

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By Antoni Slodkowski

TOKYO (Reuters) – Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday corrected statements he had made in parliament, apologising for what he mentioned have been errors relating to a political funding scandal that has additionally solid a pall over the present premier.

Abe mentioned he felt deeply accountable for making repeated false denials that his political funding group had subsidised cherry blossom viewing events for his supporters, in potential violation of the nation’s strict political funding legal guidelines.

Japan’s longest-serving chief mentioned he had identified nothing concerning the funds and pledged to work to regain public belief. The apology got here after his secretary was on Thursday summarily indicted over the problem and fined 1 million yen ($9,650).

“Although the accounting procedures occurred with out my data, I really feel morally accountable for what occurred,” Abe instructed a parliamentary committee. “I mirror on this deeply and apologise from my coronary heart to the residents and to all lawmakers.”

Abe additionally filed corrected political funding stories for the final three years.

The general public apology marks a pointy reversal of fortune for Abe, a political blue-bloods whose grandfather and great-uncle additionally served as premiers. He stop as prime minister on well being grounds in September after serving practically eight years as prime minister.

The scandal threatens to wreck his successor, Yoshihide Suga, who was Abe’s right-hand man all through his time period and has defended his former boss in parliament.

Suga, who has been beset by different controversies and seen his assist scores slide lower than a yr earlier than the subsequent decrease home election should be referred to as, has apologised for making inaccurate statements.

Abe didn’t reply to questions from opposition MPs about whether or not he would take political duty for the scandal by resigning as an MP. He struggled to clarify why he was capable of file detailed up to date funding stories though he says his workplace doesn’t have the underlying receipts for the events.

Abe’s statements to parliament from the tip of 2019 contradicted the findings of the prosecutors not less than 118 occasions, a number of home media reported, citing a parliamentary analysis bureau.

($1 = 103.6000 yen)

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