Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday corrected statements he had made in parliament, apologizing for what he said were mistakes regarding a political funding scandal that has also cast a pall over the current premier.
Abe said he felt deeply responsible for making repeated false denials that his political funding group had subsidized cherry blossom viewing parties for his supporters, in possible violation of the country’s strict political funding laws.
Japan’s longest-serving leader said he had known nothing about the payments and pledged to work to regain public trust. The apology came after his secretary was on Thursday summarily indicted over the issue and fined one million yen.
Abe told a parliamentary committee, “Even though the accounting procedures happened without my knowledge, I feel morally responsible for what happened. I reflect on this deeply and apologize from my heart to the citizens and to all lawmakers.”