Yoshiro Mori’s Lavish Hotel Dining with Average Spending Over 20,000 Yen | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Yoshiro Mori’s Lavish Hotel Dining with Average Spending Over 20,000 Yen

Following the Tokyo Olympics corruption case, will he get away with the political fund party slush fund issue as well? Even after moving into a high-grade nursing home, he still goes out to dinner in his wheelchair at night

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According to a source, “He goes to a hospital in Tokyo for dialysis treatment about three times a week,” but he still shows no signs of decline.

On Friday, January 12th, around 6:00 PM, a black sedan smoothly slid into the front entrance of an ultra-luxurious hotel located in a prime area of Tokyo.

The driver took a wheelchair out of the trunk and set it up quickly, then opened the rear door. From inside, former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori (86) emerged, dressed casually in a pale blue jacket and chinos. Mori slowly sat down in his wheelchair, watched over by two female passengers, and proceeded into the building with the doormen bowing deeply at his side.

The group headed for a private room in the hotel’s Japanese restaurant. It is a high-class restaurant that has been patronized by successive prime ministers and Diet members. The menu includes Japanese kaiseki and shabu-shabu, with the average cost per customer at 20,000 yen or more.

Mori was the fourth chairman of the Seiwa Seisaku Kenkyukai (Abe Faction), the largest faction of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), and even after his retirement from politics, he remains the guardian of the Abe Faction and is well known for his tremendous influence within the faction.

“There has been keen interest in how far the special investigation unit can probe into Mr. Mori’s involvement in the clandestine funds incident surrounding political fundraising parties,” reported a national newspaper political affairs journalist.

However, on this very day, reports began to emerge that the Abe faction had started considering corrections to the political funds reports of its affiliated members. Some insiders in Nagatacho mentioned, “The outlook for the special investigation unit’s inquiry seems to be getting uncertain.” In fact, on the following day, there were news reports suggesting that the special investigation unit was leaning towards abandoning the indictment of key members, including past secretaries-general of the Abe faction.

“There is a significant possibility that, as of the 12th, Mr. Mori had already received information about the special investigation unit’s decision,” reported the same source.

If Mr. Mori had indeed been aware of the special investigation unit’s actions, the dinner at the hotel must have been quite enjoyable, one would imagine.

Mr. Mori and the others left the restaurant about three hours later, after 9:00 PM. Accompanied by the doorman’s farewell, the chauffeured car, with Mr. Mori on board, headed towards the elderly care facility in Tokyo where he resides.

“The elderly care facility where Mr. Mori resides has a high-end room that costs approximately 220 million yen for the entrance fee alone. If a couple were to move in, the expenses would be over 600,000 yen per month for this upscale facility. The building is equipped with amenities such as a bar and a simulation golf room. Mr. Mori seems to be in good health even after moving in, often going out for dinners in the evenings,” mentioned a source familiar with the situation in Nagatacho.

Then, on January 16, the special investigators finally made their move. Finally, on January 16, the Special Investigation Department made its move. On January 16, the Special Investigation Department finally decided not to prosecute seven Abe Faction officials, including former Chief Cabinet Secretary Matsuno Hirokazu (61), former METI Minister Nishimura Yasutoshi (61), and former party policy chief Kōichi Hagiuda (60), who had been accused of violating the Political Funds Control Law.


“However, this doesn’t mark the end of the matter. Just recently, Professor Hiroyuki Kamiwaki, from Kobe Gakuin University sent a criminal complaint to the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office against Mr. Mori and 12 other key members of the Abe faction. This issue is expected to continue for a while,” stated a national newspaper political desk editor.

Regarding the future of Mr. Mori and the members of the Abe faction, journalist Tetsuo Suzuki says the following.

“Some members of the ‘Goninshu’ (Five-person group) are saying, ‘It’s a relief that the investigation is over. Liberated from the tense everyday life.’ However, it is believed that they won’t regain power in the Kishida administration. Moreover, elections themselves are becoming challenging, and there’s a risk of losing in the single-member districts. On the other hand, Mr. Mori’s influence, with the ability to control money and positions, is unlikely to change for the time being,” according to journalist Tetsuo Suzuki.

When attempting to inquire about the non-indictment of the seven key members of the Abe faction, and calling Mr. Mori’s mobile phone, he responded in a stern voice.

“I am not answering any inquiries at all. Besides, isn’t it rude to call by phone in the first place?”

In the series of corruption scandals surrounding the Tokyo Olympics, Mr. Mori’s name was reported to have come up in the investigation, but he was not held accountable. Will Mr. Mori manage to escape responsibility once again this time?

Former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori, the guardian of the Abe faction, dines at an ultra-luxury hotel today.
Former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori, the guardian of the Abe faction, dines at an ultra-luxury hotel today

From “FRIDAY” February 2 and 9, 2024

  • Interview and text by Hironori Jinno (nonfiction writer) PHOTO Keisuke Nishi

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