Japan Tax Agency Chief Steps Down over Moritomo Issue (News)


Tokyo, March 9 (Jiji Press)—National Tax Agency Commissioner Sagawa Nobuhisa, who was involved in the issue of a controversial discount state land sale to private school operator Moritomo Gakuen when he was a senior Ministry of Finance official, stepped down from the top post at the agency on Friday.

The Japanese government decided to accept his resignation at a cabinet meeting on the same day.

With Sagawa's resignation, the administration of Prime Minister Abe Shinzō aims to put an end to the land sale issue, although confusion is growing over allegations that the ministry had made changes in documents related to the sale of the land plot in the city of Toyonaka, Osaka Prefecture, to Moritomo Gakuen, based in the city of Osaka.

The Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan and five other opposition parties demanded sworn testimony by Sagawa at the Diet over the suspected document alterations.

Sagawa offered to resign as head of the tax agency, noting that he disrupted deliberations at the Diet due to a lack of sincerity in his parliamentary remarks, received various criticisms over the management of administrative documents, and was serving as director-general of the MOF's Financial Bureau when the documents in question were submitted to the Diet, Minister of Finance Asō Tarō told a press conference on Friday night.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

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