Japan cancels cherry blossom get together amid cronyism accusations

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (centre left) posing with entertainers and athletes during the cherry blossom viewing party hosted by the prime minister in 2017Picture copyright
AFP

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The publicly funded occasion in a Tokyo park has been working since 1952


The Japanese authorities has cancelled an annual get together held to admire the blossom on cherry timber, following allegations of cronyism.

The publicly funded occasion, honouring the nice and the great for his or her achievements, has taken place each April since 1952.


However opposition politicians mentioned Prime Minister Shinzo Abe invited too lots of his personal supporters to the final occasion.

They are saying he introduced 850 individuals from his constituency, 1,000km (620 miles) away.

Complete spending on the occasion got here to 55 million yen (£390,000; $504,000) in 2019, up from 30 million yen 5 years in the past.

What’s the cherry blossom get together?

Cherry blossom, or sakura as it’s identified in Japan, is a giant a part of Japanese tradition.

The well-known pink and white flowers are sometimes seen for about two weeks within the spring.

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Media captionHow the cherry blossom season boosts Japan’s financial system

Individuals from all around the nation have a good time the blooming of the flowers, by visiting parks and consuming particular blossom-themed meals.

Held at a park well-known for its cherry blossoms, the government-funded get together is meant to honour members of the general public for his or her achievements.

Why has it been cancelled?

The prime minister has come underneath hearth from opposition politicians who accused him of bringing in supporters from his constituency in Yamaguchi.

The amount of cash spent on the occasion has nearly doubled underneath Mr Abe’s administration, as has the variety of visitors. Japanese information company Kyodo mentioned about 18,000 individuals took half final yr, up from 7,000 to 10,000 a yr earlier than Mr Abe took workplace in 2012.

In a shock announcement, Chief Cupboard Secretary Yoshihide Suga mentioned that the federal government had “listened to varied opinions” and determined to cancel subsequent yr’s get together.

The federal government would “make clear the standards for inviting visitors and make the invitation course of clear”, he added.