Toshiaki Endo and Interac President Matsumoto Questioned Over Political Influence
|Endo addresses questions about Interac contracts|
Toshiaki Endo, minister in charge of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, denied a media report Thursday that he exerted influence on behalf of Interac, a company placing assistant language teachers.
“I’ve never worked in favor of them. It’s based on a factual error,” Endo said during a House of Representatives Budget Committee session.
The Mainichi Shimbun reported the same day that his fund management and support groups received a total of 9.55 million yen from the president of Interac, Seiichi Matsumoto, over five years to 2014.
Endo admitted receiving political donations from Interac but said the money was handled in accordance with law.
The report said Endo worked during the period to enhance the use of the ALTs, mostly teaching English at Japanese primary, junior high and high schools in support of Japanese teachers of English who are often not very good at speaking English.
It said the education ministry decided to use state funds for private companies’ project to dispatch ALTs. Interac received the majority of contracts with the recommendation of Endo.
Endo denied the report that said Interac president, Seiichi Matsumoto, made a request for the use of state funds and Endo relayed the request to the education ministry.
He told the Diet that the education ministry said the company is not subject to receiving the state money.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said there is no problem regarding the issue.
In late January, Akira Amari resigned as economic and fiscal policy minister after weekly reports of graft allegations.