Yasunori Kagoike, operator of a nationalistic school in Osaka, raises his hand while giving a sworn testimony to a lower house budget committee in Tokyo on March 23, 2017. / AFP / Toshifumi KITAMURA
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A controversial nationalist educator said under oath Thursday he had received a donation for his school from Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe despite the premier's repeated denials in an intensifying political scandal that has gripped the country.Abe, whose high approval ratings have taken a hit, has repeatedly denied giving Kagoike money and on more than one occasion offered to resign if he was found to be involved in the land deal.Abe's government quickly issued a fresh denial."Of course, Madame Akie has said she has no recollection" of giving him money, Yoshihide Suga, the government's top spokesman, told a regular briefing.He also insisted that the testimony would not damage Abe's government. The top-selling Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper found that approval for Abe's government has dropped by 10 percentage points to 56 percent in a poll released Monday.
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