Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike’s Former Roommate Reveals Her Arabic Skills, Comparable to a Three-Year-Old | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike’s Former Roommate Reveals Her Arabic Skills, Comparable to a Three-Year-Old

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Less than two months to go until the Tokyo gubernatorial election
Can’t read the exam questions properly
He again completely denies “graduating at the top of his class from Cairo University” by showing his real name and face.

A photo of a visit to a pyramid in the suburbs of Cairo in October 1976

A Japanese woman smiles at the camera as she stands shoulder to shoulder in front of one of Egypt’s pyramids. The photo was taken in October ’76. The woman on the left with long hair is Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike, 71, who was 24 years old at the time.

Next to her is her roommate Momoyo Kitahara, 83, who lived with Koike in a one-bedroom apartment in Cairo. She was 11 years older than Koike and was studying Arabic at a language school in Cairo while earning a living as a part-time travel guide.

In May of that year, Ms. Koike failed her final exam for advancement to the next grade. I wanted to cheer her up when she was depressed, so I took this picture of her when I invited her on a trip,” says Kitahara.

–In April of this year, nearly 50 years after the trip, Toshiro Kojima, former secretary general of the Tokyo Metropolitan People’s First Association, accused Koike in the monthly magazine “Bungei Shunju” of questioning the career of “Ms. Koike,” who had flunked out of school and was depressed, by saying that she had graduated at the top of her class from Cairo University. Koike’s allegations of academic fraud were rekindled.

Not wanting to let her friend perpetrate any more lies on her, and hoping that she will soon feel better before the Tokyo gubernatorial election in July, Ms. Kitahara testified to this magazine once again about Koike’s alleged academic fraud, using her real name and face.

I met her in the spring of 1972. When I was thinking of living alone in Cairo, an expatriate from Mitsubishi Corporation suggested to me, ‘Why don’t you share a room? I was thinking of living alone in Cairo when an expatriate from Mitsubishi Corporation suggested that I share a room with her, and so we started living together when she was only 19 years old. The apartment was in Zamalek, an upscale residential area in Cairo.

At the time, Koike was charming and joked around so much that Japanese men came to see her every day.

Just Fill in the Blanks.”

He and Mr. Koike lived together for about two years, from February 1973 to December 1976, with an interruption in December 1975. When they first met, Koike had not yet entered Cairo University.

She said at the time that she was able to transfer to the second year in October ’73, although she assumed she entered Cairo University in October ’72. Her Arabic language skills were at the level of a ……3 year old. She was able to carry out everyday conversation such as “Please give me a kilo of this meat,” “Please give me a bag of sugar,” and other errand runners.

In 1972, I happened to see a notebook that Mr. Koike had spread out on his desk, and it contained basic sentences written awkwardly at the level of “This is a pen. There was no way I would be able to keep up with university classes.

The Arabic language is divided into spoken Arabic used in daily life and written Arabic used by the intelligentsia, and classes at national universities such as Cairo University are conducted in written Arabic. Moreover, Cairo University is a difficult university where it is said that one out of four local students fail to pass the entrance exam.

Koike himself wrote in his book, “Furisode, Climbing the Pyramids,” that “the first time I attended a class at Cairo University, I did not even know what the class was about.

Mr. Kitahara continues.

“When I encouraged him that studying at the university must be hard, Koike replied, ‘I’m just copying the textbook. I said, ‘What?’ He replied, ‘Even if there is an exam, I don’t know what the questions mean. But he also said that as long as I filled in the blanks in the exam at Cairo University, the professor would see that the girl from the East had done well. I clearly remember how hard she was copying the textbook into her notebook, probably to memorize it.

Their life together came to an abrupt end in December 1976. Mr. Kitahara asserts, “In October, his father told me, ‘I’ve been living with you for a long time.

In October, his father called me and said, ‘The then First Lady Sadat is coming to Japan and you are to act as her attendant,’ and Mr. Koike rushed back to Japan temporarily. Since he had failed the examinations in May of that year, it is natural to assume that he dropped out of school and returned to Japan, rather than graduating at the top of his class.

When Mr. Koike returned to Egypt in November, he found a newspaper article in his hand stating that he had graduated from Cairo University. When Mr. Kitahara asked, “Did you make it that way? Mr. Koike replied, “Yes,” without taking offense. When Mr. Koike returned to Japan the following December, their relationship came to an abrupt halt.

Kojima, who has accused Koike of fraudulently claiming his academic background, told a press conference that if Koike were to run in the next election and write on his resume that he graduated from Cairo University, “I would be guilty of publishing false information under the Public Election Law, and I am considering filing criminal charges against him.

Koike, on the other hand, denied the allegations of academic fraud at a regular press conference in April, saying, “I don’t understand why other people are calling me a fraud when the university has proven it. I am perplexed,” he denied the allegations.

Is Mr. Kitahara’s testimony that he did not graduate at the top of his class from Cairo University true? When we asked Mr. Koike, he replied through his office as follows.

The University of Cairo recognizes my graduation, and I have made my diploma and certificates public many times. Only the university, and not others, can attest to my graduation.”

Mr. Kitahara sighs.

He added, “You didn’t expect this lie to continue for so many years, did you? It would have been easier if you had said, ‘I was really different’ before you became a member of the Diet–that’s what I want to say to her.”

How long will Koike ignore his former roommate’s words?

Here is another photo taken during the trip. She and Mr. Koike (left) did not have many opportunities to go out together.
In October 1972, Mr. Kitahara (left) and Mr. Koike, before he entered Cairo University, held an origami workshop at Azhar University.
Mr. Kitahara responding to an interview with this magazine. Once, he sent a certified mail to a national newspaper, saying that he wanted to talk about Koike’s allegations, but “I never received a reply.

From the May 24, 2024 issue of FRIDAY

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