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(Update) Japan Cancels Abe's Cherry Blossom Party Next Year

(Update) Japan Cancels Abe's Cherry Blossom Party Next Year

   Tokyo, Nov. 13 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government has canceled the prime minister's annual cherry blossom-viewing party next year, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Wednesday, a decision that is apparently aimed at appeasing opposition lawmakers.
   The government will review the state-funded party held every April by clarifying the criteria for choosing guests, aiming to resume the event as early as 2021.
   Opposition lawmakers have accused Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of using taxpayer money for his own interest, claiming that guests to the party include many of his supporters.
   "I decided on the cancellation at my own discretion," Abe told reporters.
   The prime minister apparently wants to draw a curtain on the issue at an early date to minimize its negative impact on his administration. He grapples with the aftermath of the recent resignations of two ministers and controversy over the use of private English tests for university entrance exams.

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AFP-JIJI PRESS NEWS JOURNAL


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