Abe to speak at Diet on misleading remarks

Former Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo will appear at Diet committee sessions on Friday. He is expected to explain and apologize for remarks he made at the legislature in relation to parties held by his political support group for his supporters.

Prosecutors brought a summary indictment against one of Abe's secretaries on Thursday for allegedly misreporting income and expenditure connected to the parties.

Abe held a news conference later in the day, apologizing for making misleading comments at the Diet. He also explained that he gave answers to the best of his knowledge at the time. But he added some of what he said was contrary to the facts and undermined the public's trust in politics.

At Friday's Diet committee sessions, Abe is likely to explain why he made misleading comments at the legislature. He is also expected to answer questions from members of governing and opposition parties.

The secretary-general of the main ruling Liberal Democratic Party, Nikai Toshihiro, said he believes Abe's denial of any involvement in the accounting. Nikai added he would like Abe to give a full explanation.

The secretary-general of the largest opposition Constitutional Democratic Party, Fukuyama Tetsuro, said it is unthinkable that Abe's secretary decided on his own that his political group would cover large amounts of funding for the parties.

Fukuyama said Abe has sought to cover up his lies with more lies.

Attention will be on what explanation Abe will give about his past remarks and his responsibility.

The parties in question took place on the eve of government-funded cherry blossom-viewing events during Abe's tenure as prime minister.

The parties cost about 23 million yen, or roughly 220,000 dollars, in the five years through 2019. Abe's office is thought to have paid at least a third of that.