Abe Denies Office Paid For Party

Abe denies office paid for party

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says there were no revenues or expenses from his office or his support group for a publicly funded cherry blossom party and a private dinner.

Abe spoke to reporters on Friday in response to reports he used taxpayer money to entertain constituents at the annual party and that his support group failed to report finances related to the dinner.

He said his staff informed him that both events were entirely paid for by participants.

The dinner was held at a Tokyo hotel and hosted by Abe's support group. Participants paid about 46 dollars each. Opposition parties argue the figure is too small and suspect Abe's office paid for the difference.

The prime minister said his staff told him the hotel set the price, taking into account that most participants were also the guests.