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Abe should come clean on doubts over cherry blossom event

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Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has yet to offer convincing answers to any of the key questions concerning the controversy over the annual cherry blossom viewing event.

Abe’s decision to cancel next spring’s event should not end the efforts to uncover the facts.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference on Nov. 13 that the event for next fiscal year has been canceled, adding that the decision was made by the prime minister himself.

Since Abe returned to power in 2012, the number of guests has swollen, with the list including many Abe supporters. That has raised public criticism that Abe has been using the event, hosted by the prime minister, for his personal gain.

There is little doubt that the abrupt decision to cancel the gala is aimed at blunting the momentum of the campaign to uncover facts about Abe’s possible involvement.

The government has said it will try to resume the event in fiscal 2021 after reviewing the current vague criteria for........

© The Asahi Shimbun