NPR

Land Deal For Right-Wing Elementary School Plagues Japanese Prime Minister

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has denied involvement in a discounted sale of state-owned land for a new primary school. He says he'll resign if proof of his involvement is found.

On a back street in Osaka, the sound of schoolchildren floats out of Tsukamoto Kindergarten. A cuckoo clock and a stand of bamboo sit in front of the school building's orange facade — and Astro Boy, a cartoon figure, looks down from a window.

From its exterior, there's no visible sign that the school is at the center of a scandal on which the leader of Japan has staked his political future.

The school's owner is accused of using his relationship with Japan's first family to secure a plot of land for a new, right-wing primary school at a massive discount.

Despite the scandal, Tsukamoto Kindergarten's traditional teachings have been an attraction to some

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from NPR

NPR2 min read
Ensemble Signal Plays Jonny Greenwood: Tiny Desk Concert
Watch members of the New York-based group give the world premiere video performances of two recent pieces by Radiohead guitarist and composer Jonny Greenwood.
NPR10 min read
'Game Of Thrones' Finale, Season 8, Episode 6: 'No One Is Very Happy'
After eight seasons, 73 episodes and a whole lot of characters saying "bend the knee" all the time, HBO's massive fantasy series is finally over.
NPR2 min readPolitics
In Trump's Trade War, Americans Will Be Asked To Show Economic Patriotism
Americans like trade, in bigger numbers than ever. But they also believe China doesn't play fair in trade.