Ex-MOF Official Denies Abe's Instruction about Document Tampering (News)


Tokyo, March 27 (Jiji Press)—Former Japanese Ministry of Finance official Sagawa Nobuhisa told parliament on Tuesday that there was no instruction from the prime minister's office about altering documents on a dubious state land transaction with private school operator Moritomo Gakuen.

It was the MOF's Financial Bureau that dealt with the document changes in question, Sagawa, who was director-general of the bureau at the time, testified as a sworn witness in a House of Councillors Budget Committee meeting.

In addition, he denied having been told by Prime Minister Abe Shinzō, his wife, Akie, or Minister of Finance Asō Tarō to make the changes to the documents on the deal with Moritomo Gakuen in which a land plot in western Japan was sold at a huge discount.

The name of the prime minister's wife, once appointed as honorary principal of an elementary school that was set to be opened on the land plot, and related descriptions were deleted from the original MOF documents.

Also denying the involvement of Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga Yoshihide, deputy chief cabinet secretaries or executive secretaries to the prime minister, Sagawa said, "There were no discussions or consultations" with the prime minister's office.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

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