With 350,000 Signatures, MOF Official's Widow Demands Fair Moritomo Scandal Probe

Society

Tokyo, June 15 (Jiji Press)--Lawyers for the widow of a self-slaughtered Ministry of Finance official presented to the Cabinet Secretariat Monday more than 350,000 signatures calling on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to launch reinvestigation into a high-profile document-tampering scandal involving the ministry and school operator Moritomo Gakuen.

According to the lawyers including Tadashi Matsumaru, the proxy for the wife of late Toshio Akagi, the number of signatures solicited online since March 27 reached 352,659 on Sunday. The Change.org website showed that the figure kept growing on Monday.

The widow demands that a panel of third-party experts be set up and find out why her husband, then an official at the ministry's Kinki Local Finance Bureau, had to kill himself on March 7, at age 54.

After his death, she disclosed Akagi's memos and suicide note clarifying that Nobuhisa Sagawa, then director-general of the ministry's Financial Bureau, instructed the tampering of documents related chiefly to the sale of a state land tract to the west Japan-based school operator, whose owner couple claims to have close ties with Abe's wife, Akie, at a huge discount.

"My husband might find a way out and stay alive if he knew many people were supporting him," Akagi's wife said in a statement Monday while calling for a fair reinvestigation.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press