Govt. to cancel cherry blossom party next year
NHK -- Nov 14
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga says the government will not hold a cherry blossom-viewing party next year, which is hosted every April by the prime minister.

Suga told reporters on Wednesday afternoon that the government will thoroughly review guidelines for the party, including the criteria for inviting guests.

He said the government understands that when the Cabinet Secretariat collects the names of guests, it also asks the Prime Minister's Office and the ruling party to recommend guests.

Suga noted that at the Prime Minister's Office, it considers recommendations by the prime minister, the deputy prime minister, the chief cabinet secretary and the deputy chief cabinet secretaries.

Suga said the government has followed such procedures as a long-standing practice, but the government now plans to consider clarifying the criteria for inviting guests, reducing their number and budget, so that the government makes the invitation process more transparent.

Suga said the government will conduct an overall review of guidelines while seeking opinions from across a broad spectrum. He said the cancellation of next year's party was decided by the prime minister. He also said the government will proceed with the review, expecting the party will be resumed in the year after next.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has come under criticism from opposition lawmakers who say he has exploited the guidelines to invite many of his own supporters to the public-funded event.

「私物化」などとの指摘を受けている安倍総理大臣主催の「桜を見る会」について政府が来年の開催の中止を決めたことを受け、野党は国会でさらに追及する構えです。  安倍総理大臣:「来年の『桜を見る会』についてはすでに官房長官が説明した通り、私の判断で中止することにした」  野党側は今年、安倍総理の地元の後援会関係者約850人が招待されていた疑いが強いと主張していて、衆議院と参議院で予算委員会の集中審議を求めていく構えです。  立憲民主党・安住国対委員長:「『来年度はやめました』って言っても、今年やったこと、これまでやってきた安倍内閣のやり方は消しゴムで消せるようなものではない。むしろ非を認めたということなので、徹底的にやらせて頂く」  共産党・小池書記局長:「直前まで問題がないと胸を張っていたものを一転中止するということは結局、説明がつかなくなったと。
News sources: NHK, ANNnewsCH
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