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  • By The Financial District

Ex-Japan PM Shinzo Abe, Suntory Sued Over Free Party

According to Yujiro Futamura of Mainichi Japan, a citizens' group has filed a criminal complaint against former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, an unnamed employee of brewer Suntory Holdings Ltd., and two others, alleging that free alcoholic drinks provided at functions hosted by Abe's support group constituted illegal political donations.

Photo Insert: The support group also claims that the former prime minister and his then-chief secretary failed to fulfill their supervisory responsibilities.



On June 10, Abe's then-chief government-funded secretary was identified in a lawsuit filed with the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office. Suntory had provided complimentary alcoholic drinks at dinner gatherings hosted by Abe's support group at a Tokyo hotel between 2017 and 2019 on the eve of cherry blossom viewing parties, according to the report.

Suntory distributed a total of 382 bottles of alcohol, including beer and whisky, for free at the pre-sakura party festivities (worth around 450,000 yen, or roughly $3,300).



According to the citizens' group, this amounted to "donations to other political organizations," such as MPs' support groups, which are prohibited under the political finance control statute.

The group concentrated its complaint on the 2019 dinner function, which included 150,000 yen in drinks, despite the fact that the three-year statute of limitations for prosecution had not yet expired for that year.


All the news: Business man in suit and tie smiling and reading a newspaper near the financial district.

The Suntory employee is named anonymously in the complaint since the group argues that the identity of the worker or workers involved in the dinner festivities is unknown.

The support group also claims that the former prime minister and his then-chief secretary failed to fulfill their supervisory responsibilities, including failing to ensure that the support group's accounting officer correctly recorded the value of the alcohol served at the venue as a donation in a political funding report.



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