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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 March 28 - April 3  > Unveil motives and history of alteration of 'Moritomo'-related official data: JCP Koike
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2018 March 28 - April 3 [POLITICS]

Unveil motives and history of alteration of 'Moritomo'-related official data: JCP Koike

March 29, 2018
Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Koike Akira on March 28 questioned the present chief of the Financial Ministry's Financial Bureau at an Upper House committee meeting about the falsified official documents regarding a state land deal with school corporation "Moritomo Gakuen", asking, "Did the bureau prepare a written answer opposite to the original data?"

Koike asked this question because Sagawa Nobuhisa, the bureau head at the time when the Ministry had tampered with the documents, testified the day before in the Upper House that he had previously answered "no records exist (which suggest that a meeting between local financial bureau officials and Moritmoto to discuss the land deal took place)". He claimed that he had answered so in line with the Q/A papers prepared by the bureau's department in charge.

Ota Mitsuru, the current head of the bureau, said in response to Koike, "We draw up written answers based on past parliamentary statements and detailed facts," and apologized for the inaccurate answer given by Sagawa.

On the original documents, the fact that officials of the local Financial Bureau on January 9, 2015 visited Moritomo Gakuen in Osaka and offered a lease fee to Moritomo for state-owned land was noted.

Citing this fact, Koike said someone in the Ministry's bureau had prepared the response to Diet questions in disregard of these documents or had kept their existence secret. He again demanded that the Ministry make clear the motives for and the history of the alteration of its official records.

Chief Cabinet Secretary's remarks may also trigger doctoring of data

Koike furthermore took up the remarks made last year by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga Yoshihide that meeting records are kept for about one year but "ministerial documents pertaining to government matters are normally kept for 30 years". Koike pointed out that when Suga made this comment, the national land sale to Moritomo at a bargain basement price already became a key issue of national politics.

He said, "By this time, the Ministry's Financial Bureau should have known the existence of the official documents which accurately include details of the deal," adding that Suga's remarks may also have triggered the act of alteration.

Abe stuck for answer

Prime Minister Abe Shinzo previously in response to questions in the Diet stated that his wife has accepted honorary positions at several schools but that this does not mean she has influence on administrative matters."

In this context, Koike asked Abe, "Which school or schools does she serve as honorary principal?"

Abe dodged the question and said that his wife Akie has honorary positions at "55 organizations".

Koike again asked which organization she serves as honorary principal.

Abe became stuck searching for a response and said, "There were two schools." He then gave specific names. One is a kindergarten operated by "Kake Gakuen" and the other the elementary school which Moritomo Gakuen planned to open.

Both schools have fallen under clouds of suspicion of misconduct. The government ministries allegedly provided assistance to school corporation Kake Gakuen run by Abe's best friend for launching a new faculty. The allegations surrounding Moritomo Gakuen include the 90%-discounted sale of national land to the school of which Abe's wife Akie was to assume the position of honorary principal.

Past related articles:
> PM Abe's statements to Diet trigger doctoring of 'Moritomo'-related official records [March 14, 2018]
> Finance Ministry admits to falsification of official documents regarding state land sale to Moritomo [March 13, 2018]
> Board of Audit: Finance Ministry’s 90% discount on land deal for Moritomo inappropriate [November 22, 2017]
> PM Abe gets stuck answering questions on ‘Kake’ scandal [July 26, 2017]
> ‘Kake Gakuen’ related-materials alluding PM pressure existed in ministry [June 17, 2017]
> Internal documents show how ‘Kake Gakuen’ came in first [May 18 & 23, 2017]
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