Abe suffers new blow as key figure in school scandal arrested
The former head of a scandal-plagued nationalist school operator central to a contentious cut-price land deal was arrested Monday by prosecutors over fraudulently receiving state subsidies for its school-related business. 
The arrest of Yasunori Kagoike, 64, the former head of Moritomo Gakuen, follows prosecutors summoning Kagoike and his wife Junko, who also worked at the school run by the operator to answer further questions over fraud allegations, following being quizzed at first on Thursday.
Prosecutors have been investigating the pair over allegations they defrauded the government and received illicit public subsidies to construct an elementary school.
Yasunori Kagoike, head of Moritomo Gakuen, attends a parliamentary session in Tokyo, Japan, March 23, 2017. /Reuters Photo

Yasunori Kagoike, head of Moritomo Gakuen, attends a parliamentary session in Tokyo, Japan, March 23, 2017. /Reuters Photo

Moritomo Gakuen and its former head first came under the spotlight for purchasing state-owned land to build the elementary school for just a fraction of its appraisal price.
The unfolding scandal has implicated Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife, Akie, who was supposed to become honorary principal of the planned school.
Since a complaint was filed in March, the Osaka District Public Prosecutors Office's special investigation squad has been investigating the Kagoikes in relation to allegations it received government subsidies to the tune of 56 million yen (about 505,000 US dollars) for construction costs of the elementary school built in Toyonaka city in Osaka.
Investigators believe that Moritomo Gakuen submitted inflated building estimates for the elementary school.
CGTN Graphic

CGTN Graphic

Kagoike is also alleged to have earlier defrauded Osaka Prefecture of 62 million yen between 2011 and 2016 in relation to a kindergarten also built in the prefecture.
Abe has consistently denied that he or his wife Akie have in any way been involved in the scandal, despite Kagoike claiming the prime minister gave him a financial donation of one million yen, handed to him by Akie, in September 2015, following a speech she gave at the kindergarten. 
Moritomo Gakuen had also been under the spotlight and received widespread condemnation for its imperialistic-style of edification and for one of its kindergartens disseminating hate speech about non-Japanese citizens residing in Japan.
(Source: Xinhua)

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