Japan’s Aso will not resign as finance minister over suspected cronyism scandal

13-Mar-2018 Intellasia | Reuters | 6:00 AM Print This Post

Japanese Finance minister Taro Aso said on Monday he had no intention to resign over revelations that documents related to a state land sale were altered.

He said the alterations were conducted by “several” officials at the finance ministry’s division in charge of state land sales.

“It’s extremely regrettable and I apologise for this,” Aso told reporters, when asked whether he felt responsible as head of the ministry involved in the alterations.

Japan’s finance ministry reported to the ruling Liberal Democratic Party the findings of its investigation into a suspected cronyism case on Monday morning, a ruling party source said, as pressure mounts on prime minister Shinzo Abe and his ally Aso over the case.

LDP parliamentary affairs official Hiroshi Moriyama told reporters that he had been briefed by finance ministry officials that the documents related to the land sale had been altered.

Abe, now in his sixth year in office, had tried to put behind him questions over the sale of state owned land at a huge discount to a school operator with ties to his wife, Akie. His ratings had rebounded from a slump last year, but doubts have revived with a series of fresh revelations.

The name of Abe’s wife, Akie, was removed from documents related to the controversial sale of state-owned land, Kyodo News reported on Monday, citing a government source.

The ministry plans to report to parliament on Monday that it has found instances where content was deleted from documents submitted to lawmakers, the source told Reuters on condition of anonymity.



Category: Japan

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