Former Aide Denies Abe's Instruction

Former aide denies Abe's instruction

A former secretary to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says Abe did not instruct him to convey concerns to the labor ministry about a key monthly survey.

Motoya Nakae testified as an unsworn witness at a Lower House Budget Committee meeting on Monday.

In 2015, Nakae conveyed to the ministry his concerns about the way the monthly labor survey was conducted. This was after significant disparities in wage figures emerged after the firms covered in the survey had been replaced with others.

Nakae said the concerns conveyed were his own and that Abe did not instruct him to do so or to receive a briefing from the ministry.

Nakae said his concerns were aimed at policy proposals. He said he did not intend to instruct the ministry to change the numbers or adopt inappropriate methods to make the survey figures convenient for the government.

Nakae said the review of the survey had nothing to do with the issue of faulty data processing, which lasted for 15 years in violation of relevant laws.

Kazuaki Sakamitsu, a former labor ministry official in charge of statistics, also testified at the meeting.
He referred to the data processing conducted from January of last year to close the gap between data obtained through inappropriate methods and actual figures.

Sakamitsu said he assumed the process to restore the data had already been conducted. He said he does not know why the restoring process did not begin earlier than January of last year.