Japan’s finance ministry releases records of shady school operator deal it said were deleted

Japan’s finance ministry releases records of shady school operator deal it said were deleted

August 20, 2019 2 By Kailee Schamberger


Japan’s finance ministry has released documents
relating to a dubious sale of state-owned land to a school operator with ties to Prime
Minister Shinzo Abe’s wife. It comes after the ministry said the records
had been discarded. Ro Aram has the details. Prime Minister Abe is mired in a number of
cronyism scandals that have put a dent in his approval ratings and credibility. The latest revelation has only added to his
woes. Tokyo’s finance ministry submitted nearly
a thousand pages of documents to Japan’s parliament on Wednesday regarding its negotiations with
Moritomo Gakuen on the largely discounted sale of state-owned land. The documents were submitted on the same day
ministry officials admitted to deleting them in an effort to hide those talks. But the ministry said it had managed to retrieve
most of the data from a few officials who were “keeping them safe.” Moritomo Gakuen is a school operator with
close ties to Abe’s wife Akie and the sale has raised suspicions of favoritism by the
premier. The school operator planned to use the land
to open an elementary school and naming Abe’s wife as its honorary principal. The effort to cover up the murky deal also
comes only a few months after the ministry said it had doctored separate documents to
make them tally with testimonies given by its officials to the Diet. Another three thousand pages of pre-altered
files relating to the scandal were also submitted and they will all be assessed by lawmakers. Results are expected to be announced by the
end of the month. Abe has repeatedly denied his or his wife’s
involvement in the sale… …. and he is expected to sit down with ruling and opposition
lawmakers next week to discuss the issue. Ro Aram, Arirang News.