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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 June 6 - 12  > JCP gets inside scoop on Moritomo-related document scandal
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2018 June 6 - 12 [POLITICS]

JCP gets inside scoop on Moritomo-related document scandal

June 6, 2018

A Japanese Communist Party lawmakers’ group investigating the “Moritomo” and “Kake” favoritism scandals on June 5 held a press briefing in the Diet building and released two documents related to the national land sale to Moritomo Gakuen which had been withheld by the Finance and Land ministries.

One of the documents published by the JCP lawmakers’ team was a record of a meeting between Finance Ministry Financial Bureau chief Ota Mitsuru and Land Ministry Civil Aviation Bureau chief Ebina Kuniharu on September 7, 2017. According to the document titled “Outline of inter-ministerial exchange of views”, the two discussed how to respond to questioning by the Board of Audit and opposition lawmakers in regard to the land deal with Moritomo. Another document entitled “Major examining points for a draft report to the Board of Audit” was supposedly compiled by the Land Ministry in August 2017.

The former document reveals that in the September 7, 2017 meeting, the two bureaucrats exchanged views on explanations to be made to the Board about the reason why the state-owned land was sold to Moritomo at a substantially discounted price. They also discussed ways to persuade the independent audit authority in case they are grilled about irrational points in their explanations. The document also contained accounts which vividly described the two officials’ careful attention being paid to the Prime Minister’s Office. Among them, there is a statement of the two high-ranking officials that “It is necessary to handle inquiries from the Board carefully by taking account of the impact on the Prime Minister Abe-led administration.”

The Land Ministry’s document regarding a draft report to the Board was arranged to prepare the ministry’s explanations about the land sale to Moritomo. Many descriptions in this document corresponded with those in the record of the two bureaucrats’ meeting. This shows that the two officials held discussions in line with the Land Ministry’s scenario.

JCP investigation team member Miyamoto Toru, a member of the House of Representatives, at the press conference criticized the Finance and Land ministries for disclosing documents only when they need to verify their stories. Quoting Financial Bureau Chief Ota as saying in the meeting record that the impact on the Abe regime should be considered, Miyamoto said, “Bureaucrats are trying to hide information to protect Prime Minister Abe,” and expressed his determination to continue working to corner the Abe government on this matter.

Past related articles:
> Unveil motives and history of alteration of 'Moritomo'-related official data: JCP Koike [March 29, 2018]
> Finance Ministry confirms voice data regarding huge discount scenario of land deal for Moritomo [November 29, 2017]
> Board of Audit: Finance Ministry’s 90% discount on land deal for Moritomo inappropriate [November 22, 2017]
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