June 30, 2017
Shigeaki Koga’s Press Conference Presenting Nihon Chusu no Kyobo
Moderator: Good afternoon, Ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan. My name is Khaldon Azhari. I’m the President and I have the honor to moderate this event today. I hope you enjoyed your lunch. And our guest speaker today is a very well-known freedom fighter, freedom of expression fighter in Japan. Mr. Shigeaki Koga. He is the author of this book, Nihon Chusu no Kyobo. Or in English, the Secret Vicious Plot of Central Japanese or of the Japanese government. Today’s event, he will tell us a little bit about his book and about other issues related to freedom of expression, and what is Japanese government is accused in this regard. They made anti conspiracy law that you all know and will cover about it. Mr. Koga is a native of Nagasaki and was a career bureaucrat of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. And he made some revelations about the nuclear industry especially after that Fukushima disaster that led him suffer a little bit uncovering statements. So, now we can see a little bit of lack of some TV stations and networks according to him, he is not being covered fairly by the Japanese media except for one station in Osaka that is fighting the ban in secret or official ban against him. Today he will tell us other issues not only about the book, and we will time for questions and answers, so if you have any issues you like to know about Japanese current information policies. I would like to welcome Mr. Funasaka. He will be interpreter today and he will give us translation in English and Japanese to him. And Without further adieu let’s welcome Mr. Shigeaki Koga. Thank you.
Shigeaki Koga: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I would like to express my gratitude for the invitation. For me whenever I come to the FCCJ, it relaxes me and gives me a great sense of composure coming here.
Koga: Now today I have been invited as a result of the publication of my book, Nihon Chusu no Kyobo or The Insane Plot by the Central Core of Japan. But rather than to introduce to you the contents of this book, I would like to focus on what I have been doing over the years in regards to the freedom of press. And also I would like to talk about the recent issues that have occurred.
First of all I would like to touch upon one episode that is dealt with in my book and this is in regard to the fact that on March 27th of 2015, I had shown a paper which had “I am not ABE” written on it, the television program, Hodo Station and during the program there was the argument with Mr. Furutachi, so I would like to touch upon this point.
Now it happens to be that quite a few people have misunderstanding in regard to that. They are under the belief that because during the program I had shown that paper and got into an argument with Mr. Furutachi. That was the reason for my dismissal from the program, but I would like to stress here that it was not actually the case.
Now in fact when it comes to displaying the message “I am not ABE”, it was not the first time that this came about in the program, which was broadcasted on March, but rather two months before that on January the 23rd on the same program, Hodo Station, the phrase “I am not ABE” appeared in the program although this was not written on paper.
At that time it was immediately after it was revealed in video that Kenji Goto had been captured by the Islamic state as of January the 20th the video appeared.
Like many other people I had not been aware of the fact until that video appeared when it did appear, it astonished me, but at the same time, there were several points which I felt was strange about that incident.
First of all, what I had questions about was that the Prime Minister’s office including Prime Minister Mr. Abe had should have been aware of the fact that Mr. Goto was in captivity. They should have known that and there was contact made in the month of November towards Mrs. Goto about this. This should have been immediately reported to the Prime Minister, so despite the fact that the central core of the Japanese government should have been aware of those facts, despite that I had first of all, a question about why Prime Minister Abe deliberately went during that period of time to the Middle East.
And the second point was the trip that Mr. Abe made was to Jordan, Egypt and Israel which are all allies of the United States. And it was in Israel where in front of the national flag of Israel, he had a press conference, and furthermore in Egypt he made the announcement that there would be the support provided for a total of 200 million dollars for the surrounding countries of the Islamic State. (Correction) For the peripheral countries that would be willing to fight against the Islamic State.
In fact it was almost like a declaration of war that was made by Prime Minister Abe. And I was wondering why the state should carry out such a statement with the full knowledge at that time. There were negotiations being carried out by Mrs. Goto about the ransom for Mr. Goto.
In fact at that time I heard from several different quarters about the fact that the Japanese government had not supported Mrs. Goto’s efforts in negotiating a ransom was rather told not to support her efforts.
And at that time if covertly the Japanese government had been negotiating to save Mr. Goto, then I was wondering why they would do such a thing. Another thing is that even if there were efforts to covertly able to save Mr. Goto, I had a feeling that they did not have an intention to do so, because the reason for this is the headquarters for taking countermeasures in regard to this incident was set in Amman in Jordan and not in Turkey. Now I had felt that just before that incident had occurred in Turkey there were negotiations that were carried out that were able to save 40 persons who had been kidnapped and who were council personnel. So it should have been Turkey where the countermeasure headquarters were held. But the fact that deliberately Amman was selected is indicative to me because Amman is an area which is the base of CIA operations in the Middle East, and so therefore it seems as if they wanted have the US look at what is taking place or rather they deliberately wanted to show the United States what was taking place.
At that time they were not eventually able to save Mr. Goto and the other person on the 21st when I had the message of “I am not ABE.” (Correction) 23rd “I am not ABE”. This was not a criticism of Prime Minister Abe. But rather the idea was to show what the Japanese people were thinking to the people in the Middle East. And I had wanted to indicate this with the message that each everyone of us Japanese should declare that “I am not ABE” to indicate a message to the world as a whole to show the people in the Middle East as well as the rest of the world that it was not the intention of Japan to fight against the Islamic faith nor was it to carry out a war against any country in the world, and so therefore, I had suggested that we should all carry a placard bearing the message, “I am not ABE.”
The reason why is because just immediately after the video appeared on the 20th, then there was several commentators on television that had said perhaps it was an inappropriate speech that was made by Prime Minister Abe and in the following two days people who had made such a comment disappeared entirely from television. So it seems as if Prime Minister’s Office was trying to suppress any kind of criticism. But then clearly I indicated this point and there was perhaps the feeling within the Japanese government that if they should take one wrong step then people would be assuming they allowed Mr.Goto to be executed in that manner, so therefore because of such a situation it seems that my comments had angered the people in the Japanese government tremendously.
And as a result while I was still appearing in the program out of several secretaries under Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga, two of them had sent emails protesting this to Television Asahi.
And if it had been the foreign media then such a thing would have been ignored and that would be the end of it. However, because of the top management people in Television Asahi, there was one person, the chief editor who was in charge of broadcasting told that the director of the broadcasting that this had taken place. This caused major uproar. After that since there was commitment for myself to appear up until the end of the March, I continued. But after that it seems there was an order from top management from April onwards not allowed to be appearing on the program. The important thing is not the fact that I was fired, but would but rather one of the secretaries who had happened one of the secretary who had happened to that email was Mr. Itaru Nakamura who is currently being covered about the incident.
The name of Mr. Nakamura has come up, and you may be aware that there was a lady, Ms. Shiori who came to the FCCJ recently in regard to a rape incident and there was a person, TBS, a former TBS reporter, Noriyuki Yamaguchi who was alleged to have semi…to have committed rape. This person, Mr. Yamaguchi is said to be one of the closest journalist to Prime Minister Abe and that person had written two books praising Prime Minister Abe and that person himself is quite famous, but there are allegations he had committed quasi-rape of Ms. Shiori. There was an arrest warrant that was supposed to be implemented coming from the Takanawa police department, but then it was not implemented. And it is said that there was the involvement in stopping this by the director of the Metropolitan Police criminal department, Itaru Nakamura this has now become a major problem and it happens that the director there was the same Mr. Itaru Nakamura.
Now of course in regard to the truth of whether Mr. Yamaguchi had actually been guilty of the alleged rape or not has yet been proven, but I’m sure that many members of the FCCJ had thought that when Ms. Shiori came and stated her allegations in the press conference about the rape, you may have felt that she was showing… Apparently I have been corrected. Ms. Shiori apparently has not come to the FCCJ, but in regard to this, the feeling may have been that she was showing much courage to come up and state a fact that she had been a victim of rape which is a rare thing here in Japan and had may have been something which required much courage on her part. However, in regard to the main reason why she came and said that she had been a victim of rape is because although it is said that rape is difficult to prove here in Japan and the police had told her that it would have been impossible to prove her allegations. There was a testimony of a taxi driver. There were surveillance cameras of a hotel. Initially she was told that there were enough proof to prove her allegations and there was an arrest warrant that was issued in this regard.
However, this was quashed. In regard to such matters, I hope that you will take the opportunity to cover the police officials in regard to such matters. And it would be said if you were to ask police officials that such a thing is very rare and it rarely occurs at all. But the fact that the person who carried out that act was someone who had been close to the core, the central core of the Abe administration. The fact that he had been the person who had applied the pressure following the wishes perhaps of Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga. Or perhaps with the wish to be praised by Mr. Suga had been the same person who had applied the pressure on my part was something that was surprising and this is something which I definitely would like to encourage you to cover.
Now in regard to this topic, this has been covered over the Internet. However has received very little coverage on television or newspapers. Of course if it is a criminal case then it is difficult for the press to cover it without proof about this. But then on the other hand we have the case of vice Minister, former Vice Minister of Education, Mr. Maekawa. It seems that the government has supplied the evidence about the fact that he had been to dating bars. This had been covered by such media like the Yomiuri Newspaper, but then why not this particular case why is it that that would be covered in that manner. This seems to indicate that how the Japanese mass media seems to be very slanted in their coverage and have lost their courage.
To indicate this I have power point presentation about why the Japanese media is so weak when they are faced against authority.
And the biggest reason for this is something which the foreign press people have difficulty in understanding, but the individuals who work for media here in Japan consider themselves for first of all not as journalists, but rather as employees of the corporations that had hired them. That is the priority that they feel.
Another thing is that journalists tend to belong to what is refer to as Kisha Club or Reporters’ Club. There are many cases where media members from foreign press are unable to participate in various press conferences held by the government. You may have experienced this. But the fact that one enters Kisha club means that without having done having to do anything, they are able to be provided on a day to day basis of very convenient promotional information by the Japanese government or by the relevant corporations.
When I talk about belonging to a kisha club I’m talking about the members of the major media organizations, but they are able to enter the Kisha club. And they are able to receive automatically information, and have automatic access to various sources of information.
Now the result is that the kisha club members are able to receive the organizations’ information which is completely promotional information, and not a result of the coverage. This is completely different as a job from what journalism should be like.
So the result is that in the overall mechanism if you are member of a large media company and then you do not consider yourself as a journalist, but rather as an employee of a corporation and if you belong to a kisha club then automatically there is the work that can be done on your behalf. And so as long as you do not cause any major problems you are guaranteed high wages. There is no pressure on journalists that they would be demoted unless they do some kind of coverage that other media companies have not yet done. So if they are clever about going about things then as a Japanese company employee, they could climb up the ladder as reporters eventually to the position of that of the president, and so many persons who are working at media companies have that kind of an attitude.
I touched upon the case of individual reporters. When we look at the organizations, then there are several types of “candy” that is provided by the government as a kind of bait. The newspaper companies. And there is a resale. There is a system which maintains the resale prices for the newspapers. This is treated as an exception to the anti-monopoly laws. The government is able to use this and furthermore when the consumption tax eventually will be increased to the level of 10%. It is possible that newspapers may be exempt from that to receive a lighter consumption tax increase rate.
In the case of the television stations, there is the Broadcast Act, whereby this is not the “candy,” but rather a “stick” in which the most famous part of the Broadcast Act is article 4 whereby it is possible for the government directly regulate the broadcasting stations. Instead of the independent organization that is regulating it would be possible to directly regulate the broadcasting stations by the government. And at its toughest it will be possible for the government to stop the broadcasters activities and to deprive the broadcaster of their broadcasting license.
And in regard to the major media organizations this could be perhaps not the appropriate phrase to use would be organizational issue, but it seems like the managements are very weak against the powers that be. And they seem to like people in authority in power. There are cases that have been reported about enjoying golf or having dinner together or enjoying drinks together. This is represented bythe current incident of Kakei Gakuen. This is an incident about current incident Kakei Gakuen in the case of former Vice Minister of Education, Mr. Maekawa. There was an important testimony that was given, yet before such as Mr. Hayakawa or Mr. Shinozuka and the people who have been involved in covering in politics have had long dinners with Prime Minister Abe. So it seems like people who are very much friendly with the people in authority or it seems like media organization top people are very much like the people who are in authority.
In the case of foreign media, even if there is a relationship that is established between the president of media organization and for example, President Trump this would not impact the actual reporting carried out by the people in the field. However in Japan in regard to the intervention by the top management to the coverage taking place in the field. This is something that is being observed frequently or is something that has become quite normal. There are cases where there is the cases of sontaku or anticipating the wishes of top management at work, but at any rate it can be said that there is no firewall function that exists.
Another aspect is the relationship with sponsors and in the case of television sponsors especially the influence that sponsors can exert is quite significant. And this is notable in the case of nuclear power plants where you can see that this trend is still continuing and you may have noticed that there is a very little coverage about the issue of nuclear power plants. This is a result of such a situation. Furthermore the management of sponsors is being carried out organizations like Dentsu. So you see that in regard to the scandals involving the Olympics and the Dentsu organization it’s quite rare to see coverage about this furthermore since Hodo station, television program has Dentsu as its single sponsor. I have heard that the…Excuse me, correction. Not the sole sponsor, but Dentsu is the organization that takes care of the management of the sponsors for Hodo station. My understanding recently is that this impact is being felt.
And finally there is the matter of money and currently there are subsidies that are provided to political party since the LDP has the largest number of members in the parliament, the money in the order of ten billion yen is at work here. So there is tremendous amount of money involved here. This leads to major profits generated by the advertising agencies. So they are coming up with variety of different types of propositions. And new type of media control methodologies being developed here which is now exerting much impact.
There are many things that I would like to talk further about, but then I’m afraid that I will run out of time for a Q & A session. So therefore, I would like to end my presentation here to entertain questions from the participants. Thank you.
Azhari: Thank you very much for Koga-san for your insights. I appreciated that. Thank you. I would like to open the floor to your questions. Please raise your hand and proceed to the mic in the front and ask your question. The first question? Yes, please. Please come to the mic. All right. Yes. Please.
Oshika from Asahi Newspaper: First of all I have two questions that I would like to ask, Mr. Koga, and I have come from Asahi Newspaper. So therefore, in regard to the matter of Mr. Furutachi and Television Asahi incident I should like to mention that from our organizations there are quite a few who go from our newspaper company to Television Asahi. Among them, there is Mr.Shinichi Yoshida who is considered to be a very capable and qualified journalist and at that time I believe that he was transferred to the position of the President then. But in regard to the incident involving you Mr. Koga when we considered that Mr. Yoshida is among the best and the brightest of journalists. Then I would like to ask with interest as an employee of Asahi Newspaper about what his attitude was vis-à-vis the incident involving you Mr. Koga.
Thank you very much. I do not have any particular relationship at all. Hardly any relationship at all with Mr. Yoshida, and so I do not really know what kind of a person he is. As you say he may well be quite a wonderful person. But in regard to my particular matter I understand that there was almost hardly any presence at all felt of at Mr. Yoshida involving my matter.
Now it’s necessary to look into the major context of what may have at work there, and when we consider the relationship between Television Asahi and Asahi Newspaper, it is not just a matter of the shareholding, but also Asahi Newspaper was considered as predecessor in journalism of Television Asahi and that there was dependence by Television Asahi towards the Asahi Newspaper organization. In fact two years before I left the station, there was the situation whereby the Asahi Newspaper staff members were taking care of the news at the Hodo Station from Mondays to Thursdays and there was a talk at one time of eliminating that system. However, it was rejected because of the fact that the relationship with Asahi Newspaper was considered to be very important. Because of that relationship with Asahi Newspaper it was felt that it was protection that was granted towards Television Asahi that it was almost like a guardian angel or a good luck charm that was at work then when it came to my particular incident it seems like the completely contrary situation has resulted by then.
In regard to Asahi Newspaper, there have been the incidents involving two Yoshidas.
Shogen Yoshida and Yoshida Chosho Yoshida the previous year.
(Yoshida Shogen is a collection of accounts on comfort women by Seiji Yoshida. Yoshida Choso is a record of testimonies by Masao Yoshida, who was the head of Fukushima Number One Nuclear Plant.)
From the beginning the relationship between Asahi Newspaper and Abe administration was not good. But during that time, it became decisively bad. It was at that timing that Asahi Television sought to become more independent of Asahi Newspaper. And Mr. Hayakawa was the first person who had been placed in the position of the top management coming from Television Asahi, before that the custom was that the top management people were represented by people from Asahi Newspaper organization. But Mr. Hayakawa seems to have sought to make his position not a temporary one, but rather in order to maintain his own position, he started activities around then. So in regard to his own retirement age when there was a shift to the holding company system. There was no retirement age set for the chairman. As we see this taking place whereby television Asahi tried to gain greater independence from Asahi Newspaper and there was the major damage that was inflicted upon Asahi Newspaper. Then frankly speaking President Yoshida at that time was not allowed to function is what I understand from people that I have heard from at Television Asahi.
So if the Asahi Television is not able to depend upon Asahi Newspaper, what could they depend upon? And the answer has seemed to have been that they decided to depend upon the Abe administration.
Anthony Rowley Singapore Business Times: I’m sorry. I came in rather late to your presentation, so I may have missed obviously some of the things that you said. You described the culture inside Japanese newspapers and Japanese television stations. That culture has existed for a long time of course. Is it your impression that the culture has become significantly more repressive or suppressive since Mr. Abe came to power? Likewise, do you think the tendency of what towards self-censorship has increased significantly in this time?
In regard to the Abe administration and why the subject of freedom of press is being talked about now. I have cited several items, but at the time, it can be said that the same things apply in regard to this. When the administration was by the democratic party of Japan and when it was the Democratic Party of Japan that was in power. There was a various type of pressure that was applied from the government and during the final days of Democratic Party of Japan’s administration, there was criticisms which I had raised and there was a pressure that came from Chief Cabinet Secretary at that time towards Hodo Station. When there was television appearances that I had made. So that situation had existed but then why is it that suddenly the case we are facing with the subject in regard to the Abe administration.
The individual matters there is the pressure that is applied to the field and it is possible to resist that, however, in the case of the Abe administration, on a daily basis there is pressure applied to those covering news in the field, but at the same time, the administration seeks to influence the top management of media companies, so on the daily basis the Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga is meeting with top management people of the media and news commentators. Likewise Prime Minister Abe has enjoyed his relationship with presidents of news organizations such as playing golf with them. This is shown the fact that a friendly relationship has been established between Prime Minister and those in top management in the media companies is something that is very much impacting the reporters in the field. When they see that their president is very friendly with Mr. Prime Minister Abe and this is something influences them. As proof of this, there is a television organization, The Japan Federation of Commercial Broadcasters Workers Union who deliberately came up with the statement in regard to the fact that there is a problem about the top management of respective companies having dinner or playing golf with the Prime Minister, so there is the awareness about this fact. So I should like to cite that the Abe administration has carried out efforts in order to show that there is a very friendly relationship with the top management people of media companies while at the same time applying pressure to the reporters in the field and I find it that this is very effective for them.
Now in the position of reporters even if there was administration there was a fear that if they have some fear about the administration that their jobs may be later obstructed even if they do resist something then they may not have eventually they will lose because of the pressure from the top, and even if they feel that their positions is a correct one. They may have the option of ignoring complaints that come to them, still if they have to respond to the pressure from the top then this would mean that this would obstruct this types of daily news activities that they would be, they have to carry out. So it would be very cumbersome to have to respond, so if it’s just a matter of changing how something is expressed then not mean less trouble then reporters often seek that option it seems like self−restraint is at work here.
And occasionally when there is a major problem that occurs for example if Hodo Station should carry out some kind of criticism about the nuclear regulatory authority and then there may have been some mistakes have been made in that regard then if the director or the producer of that program had been critical of the government on a day to day basis. Then the powers that be would take the opportunity apply major tremendous amounts of pressure on minor mistakes that are made because the feeling is that the top management must take care of the situation somehow so therefore use those examples as scapegoats.
Repeatedly, there were efforts to dominate the media before I left the Hodo Station this was before the elections. There was a pressure applied to all major key television stations in the Tokyo area. Pressure from the Liberal Democratic Party and this was something that all of the television stations. This was the pressure that came in the form of a document to the television stations. This was something which all of the television stations did not make public. In the case of Hodo Station the pressure did not come to the station as a whole, but rather for a specific producer there was a criticism about inappropriate content that was covered in a specific video on a specific date. That kind of pressure is something which I deal with in my book. But in this manner all of this was not made public by the television stations and furthermore internally they try thoroughly to respond to this therefore, there was a message disseminated you should watch out for certain things. In this manner the television stations have become more submissive towards power and this is kind of a situation that have been built up leading up to 2015.
Siegfried Knittel Freelance from Germany
Do you know anything specially case of Mrs. Abe and Mr. Kagoike, the principle in Osaka, Highschool. Mr. Abe relationships to Mr. Kakei, his friend from Ehime also the top of university I think.
Especially in the case of Moritomo Gakuen and the relationship of Mrs. Akie Abe serving as the honorary principle of Tsukamoto Kindergarten, first this is something that I wrote about in my book, but in regard to whether there is a relevant documentation available or not to prove something you have to have something show it to, so it has to be shown, but it seems that the fact that it is said that such documents no longer exists is something that would be impossible because when it comes to bureaucrats they can be referred to as kind of ethnic tribe that works on a document based approach. So even if it is a single law that is enacted the process of how this was studied the discussions that were carried in regard to the subject, what kind of explanations were made to their superiors. All of these minor details of interactions have to be kept in the documentation form and even for a single law this could well total of six boxes worth of documents. And that is the job that bureaucrats have to go through. So basically such documents are made with the assumption that they will not be disclosed to the public, to outside their ministries. But the fact that they may have claimed a lie that such documentations no longer exist that they say the documentations that had existed had been disposed of well…correctly speaking to be price about it legally that may be correct. But then is it the case that physically such documentation had disappeared? Well, that is not the case.
What is often carried out is that when there is official documentation that is treated as administrative document, then these are the document must be retained by an organization which means that there is a possibility that such documents made be used by two or more individuals within that organization, but when an administrative document is legally disposed of, this means that such a document had existed, but has been deleted from the server, so there is no longer any possibility that such a document would be shared by two or more individuals.
In fact each of the civil servants may have placed such documents in their USB sticks or they may have taken out hard copy and have kept them in their drawers or home.
If in the event that for example then you should ask whether there is any documentation in regard to the Moritomo Gakuen affair kept at the regional finance bureau of the Finance Ministry about Moritomo Gakuen, then it is very likely that all of civil servants reply at “No” at documentation. The documentation is not retained yet in the future if there should be a change in the top and the new person comes in and wants to know what took place and may ask I don’t believe that this was the case, but does anyone have materials relating to this particular subject, there will be some individual that will come forward and will come forward and say they say that they have such a materials.
There is another point that I found strange about by the response by the Finance Ministry that there was no influence exerted by Mrs. Abe, Mrs. Akie Abe on this.
Clearly when it comes to the matter of Mr. Kagoike and the secretary of Mrs. Akie Abe, there was interaction in facts in email, and there was discussions that were carried out between the secretary of Mrs. Akie Abe and the top official in the Finance Ministry who was a career civil servant whereas that lady who was the secretary was a person who was seconded from the Ministry of Trade, Economy and Industry, a non career person. So the fact that people with such different titles should be carrying out conversation would indicate through the negotiations fact that Ms. Akie Abe have been exerting her influence on this matter.
This is the case for almost all bureaucrats, but in the case of Finance Ministry. They are very much rank conscious.
And when it comes to the career bureaucrats of the Finance Ministry there is a belief on their part that for a single corresponding rank then there would be one rank above other ministries. And as a proof of this when there are requests made in regard to budgetary subjects then at the end the negotiation will take place between the ministers between of the relevant ministers director general. But when it comes to a negotiation with METI budgetary matters then it may be that the kyokucho or director at the METI will be meeting…the director general of the METI or kyokucho will be meeting with the person in the Finance Ministry then that person would be more likely to be an assistant director general or jicho , this indicates that they consider within the Finance Ministry that a person who is serving in the position of jicho would be equivalent to that of kyokucho of another ministry.
When it comes to career bureaucrats and non career bureaucrats, even in the case of career bureaucrats there is the attitude that the Financial Ministry person would be actually one rank above someone equivalent title from another ministery, but when it comes to non career bureaucrat on a professional basis, not necessarily on a human relationship basis though. It is inconceivable that someone who is in a top managerial position should even have a conversation with a non career and non-managerial position bureaucrat from another ministry.
In regard to the Moritomo Gakuen matter, the fact that the secretary of Mrs. Akie Abe who is a non managerial non career civil servant should be talking with a career bureaucrat in a managerial position within the Finance Ministry is a very unusual situation, and that something that reinforces the situation with the use of position that Mrs. Akie Abe must have been at work.
From the position of bureaucrats, there would be…there is no necessity to discuss about such a subject and so judging from this particular example, it would lead one to suspect that some major force was at play here.
This is Akaiwa from Shukan Kinyobi (a weekly magazine). I would like to follow up on the previous question in regard to Kaikei Gakuen and in regard to the process leading to the permission to open up a department of animal medicine. Recently there has been explanations made from the cabinet office that there was an intention to open up more departments of Animal Medicine and they wanted to do so for two or three schools, because of the resistance from Ministry of Education, Sports, Science and Technology as well as the veterinary associations that this was something that could not have been done. This is an excuse that they have been indicated. What is Mr. Koga’s thoughts in this regard?
In fact I had anticipated from the very beginning this kind of counter response will be generated from the administration through Twitter, I have said that of the mark we should be wary of such comments.
In regard to the process of deregulation, whether there should be an increase in animal medicine departments, I would like to reserve my conclusions on this subject and this the subject that is worthy of debate, but there is the high likelihood that it would be correcting to increase the number of animal medicine departments.
Assuming that it is correct to increase the number of animal medicine departments, then what the Abe administration should have done was to take the procedure where by the reasons for why an increase the medical animal department should be increased and should be clarified and then there should be the the conditions that must be met and presented for a license to be provided to a new animal medicine department. There should be various applications sought after from various regions throughout Japan. And there should be time taken out for an opportunity to look at the results of these applications and there should be much debate taking place in front of the people of Japan before it is decided whether it is appropriate to have one or two or three new animal medicine departments and upon carrying out the proper explanations from that point onwards then it should be considered about what to do for the new licenses.
What actually happened though was I am not sure the reasons for this but it was decided that there should be an increase in the animal medicine departments and I am not sure why for the following either, but it was decided that it would be the only one school that would be increased. It was also a very short period of time the solicitation of the proposition eight days or so, then the conditions attached it should be restricted to a region where there is no existing animal medicine department.
What actually happened though I am not sure the reasons for this, but it was decided that there should be an increase in the animal medicine departments. I am not about the reason for the following either. But it was decided that it would be only one school that is increased and through… it was also a short period of time for solicitations of propositions I believe was in the order of eight days or so and then there was conditions attached it should be restricted to where there is no region no other existing animal medicine department. In this case what is meant by the word region is for example in the way that we divide Japan into several regions such as Kansai region and Shikoku region and it was only Kakei Gakuen that corresponded to that condition of having no other medical department in that particular reason. There was another powerful proposition that was made by Kyoto Industrial University or Kyoto Sangyo Daigaku, but their proposal was rejected on the basis in Osaka there was already another animal medicine department in the Kansai region. So therefore it came about it was only restricted to Kansai Gakuen.
Now in regard to the decision of selecting Kakei Gakuen as the single school for this is it is decided that by the Prime Minister’s office there was resistance for from the Ministry of Education and the Veterinary Association and one more school was there was the absolute condition that they would be able to admit. So it is said that it just happened to be the case that Kakei Gakuen was selected, but in regard to this idea of only one school being allowed to open a new animal medicine department. If we look at the association side then there is the famous zokugiin or tribal politician in the form of the finance minister of Mr. Aso, but the reason for why there can be only one school is not clear and there the reason why Kakei Gakuen was the only one that was allowed is to be recognized this is there is no opportunities to participate from other candidates indicates that objective here was but rather they raised the false flag of deregulation for the purpose of deliberately selecting Kakei Gakuen.
The Abe administration in their growth strategy frequently touched upon the necessity to drill a hole into the Bedrock regulations.
Can anyone here imagine even one example had actually taken place?
Rather than carrying out the challenges in bedrock relations in regard to the deregulation challenges that have been made. This is the contrast that I feel.
Through such cases in the cases of deregulation, there may be no major track record that can be cited even if it comes to minor items, then it could be said that they are merely digging holes in tissue paper using a toothpick, so there are no major ones that can be cited in regard to deregulation. But then it seems the schools and people who are close to him are the subjects of efforts made, so rather than carrying out challenges to bedrock regulations in regard to deregulation challenges that have been made. This is the contrast that I feel, and I feel quite strange about the situation taking place.
Now I should like to add that in my previous comments I mentioned about president Yoshida of Television Asahi. And I should like to mention that based on hearsay from people within television Asahi. Was not the result of clear, precise coverage carried out on my part. In this particular regard that is why I, in my book, I had not clearly written about this, so I would like to mention that it was simply what I said was based on hearsay. From TV Asahi people, but if you are interested, I hope that you definitely make an effort to cover the subject.
Moderator: Thank you very much for Koga-san for your insights. Thank you for coming again to the club. We appreciate that and I hope your book gets attentions from readers in surely from the press club members, I would like you to give you one year honorary membership to our club. Please come again and tell us about more secrets. Thank you.
Koga: Thank you.