The “Moritomo Gakuen Now” in Ruins | FRIDAY DIGITAL

The “Moritomo Gakuen Now” in Ruins

Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's alleged involvement in the funeral of his son has attracted much attention.

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Building materials were still in place on the site, which was covered by a fence. Whether they will decay or be cleared remains to be seen.

The Moritomo issue has yet to be clarified in its entirety. The school buildings that have been left behind are a perfect symbol of this,” said journalist Tetsuo Suzuki.

Overgrown grass and trees, fences that are leaning in places, and discarded items that have fallen here and there…. Moritomo Gakuen’s Mizuho no Kuni Memorial Elementary School (Toyonaka City, Osaka Prefecture; hereafter “the school”) is now in ruins. The wooden school building, which occupies an area of 8,770 square meters, is on the shelf because it is impossible to clear the land.

The state-owned land that started the problem was sold to Moritomo Gakuen, chaired by Yasunori Kagoike, 69, for a whopping 800 million yen less than the market price. Construction of the elementary school was halted near completion when the issue was raised. When Moritomo Gakuen filed for civil rehabilitation proceedings, the state-owned land was bought back by the government amid a series of allegations of “discovery” by the Kinki Finance Bureau against former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The government is demanding that the school buildings with their superiors be demolished and returned as cleared land. The company that is being asked to do this is Fujiwara Kogyo, the company that constructed the school. Fujiwara Kogyo was only able to receive a portion of the construction costs because Moritomo Gakuen had entered into civil rehabilitation proceedings. Meanwhile, the company, which effectively had to pay the cost of clearing the land, claimed ownership of the school building and continues to manage it. President Koichi Fujiwara responded to an interview with this magazine.

“We dispatch staff to open windows and clean the inside. The labor cost alone is about 10 million yen a year. We haven’t gone to court with the government, but we have the right to stay, and we are in talks with them toward selling the building.”

No compromise between the two parties is in sight. However, this is due to the fact that the “source of the allegations” has gone unresolved for many months. Mr. Suzuki, the aforementioned “source of suspicion,” said, “They only make immediate arrangements for the time being and then come back later.

Since the Abe administration, the political practice of making immediate arrangements and then dealing with the matter in a hazy manner has become more and more conspicuous. If this becomes the norm, we could see the birth of a ‘second Moritomo’ in Kishida’s and the next administration.

Even after former Prime Minister Abe’s state funeral, the elementary school remains as a “symbol of suspicion.

In 2006, Yasunori and Junko Kagoike were interviewed in the park in front of the elementary school. They were convicted in April by the second trial court and are currently appealing their convictions.
Moritomo Gakuen Now
Moritomo Gakuen now.
Moritomo Gakuen now.
Moritomo Gakuen now.
Moritomo Gakuen now.
[Image] Moritomo Gakuen now
[Image] Moritomo Gakuen now
[Image] Moritomo Gakuen now
[Image] Moritomo Gakuen Now

From “FRIDAY” October 14, 2022 issue

  • Photographed by Kei Kato, Takayuki Ogawauchi (Mr. and Mrs. Kagome)

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