MOF Keeps Denying Involvement of Abe, Suga in Document Tampering

Politics

Tokyo, June 24 (Jiji Press)--Ministry of Finance officials reiterated Thursday that the former and current prime ministers were not involved in the high-profile official document tampering scandal at the elite ministry of Japan.

At a meeting of executives of the finance committees of both parliamentary chambers, the ministry submitted the "Akagi file," which records how the ministry's official documents on the sale of state land at a huge discount to school operator Moritomo Gakuen, once linked to former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's wife, Akie, were tampered in 2017. The sale was undertaken by the ministry's Kinki Regional Finance Bureau.

A member of the leading opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan pointed out that the documents were not able to be falsified without instructions by superiors such as Abe and then Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, now prime minister.

At a House of Representatives Budget Committee meeting on Feb. 17, 2017, Abe said he would resign as prime minister and a member of the Lower House if his or his wife's alleged involvement in the dubious land sale proved true.

Five days later, Nobuhisa Sagawa, the ministry's Financial Bureau director-general at the time, briefed Suga on the matter. Sagawa issued his first document tampering instruction on Feb. 26 the same year, according to the file.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press