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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 November 29 - December 5  > Finance Ministry confirms voice data regarding huge discount scenario of land deal for Moritomo
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2017 November 29 - December 5 [POLITICS]

Finance Ministry confirms voice data regarding huge discount scenario of land deal for Moritomo

November 29, 2017
The Finance Ministry on November 28 accepted the legitimacy of voice data indicating that ministry officials drew up a scenario in regard to the extraordinary discount on national land for the Osaka-based Moritomo Gakuen school corporation.

At a House of Representatives Budget Committee meeting on the day, Japanese Communist Party member Miyamoto Takeshi brought up voice data that Kansai Telecasting Corporation aired on September 11.

In response to Miyamoto, Finance Ministry’s Financial Bureau General Director Ota Mitsuru said that the voice data includes a conversation on the cost for cleaning up waste buried in national land which Moritomo purchased to construct an elementary school where PM Abe’s wife Akie was supposed to serve as honorary principal. Ota also explained that the conversation took place in a meeting held sometime between March and April 2016 among Moritomo representatives and officials of the Osaka local bureaus of the Finance and Land Ministries.

According to the voice data, the meeting was attended by a lawyer representing Moritomo Gakuen, ministry bureaucrats, and a waste-disposal company owner.

In the meeting, Moritomo Gakuen’s lawyer demanded that the national land in question be offered at bargain prices because the school corporation needs to remove waste from the land. In response, ministry officials proposed a “story” to justify cutting prices. The Moritomo lawyer and bureaucrats jointly brought the company owner around to the “story”.

Miyamoto noted that the Board of Audit in its report pointed out that the Finance Ministry’s sale of national land to Moritomo at the unusually low price lacks convincing force. He said, “Officials of state authorities developed a scenario for a basement bargain sale and sold the national property at giveaway prices, which constitutes a breach of trust.”

Prime Minister Abe refused to provide a response to shed light on the issue. Financial Bureau Director Ota insisted that the conversation was made to obtain materials necessary to estimate the clean up cost. He went on to say that the phrase, “coming up with a story”, was inappropriate.

Past related article:
> Board of Audit: Finance Ministry’s 90% discount on land deal for Moritomo inappropriate [ November 22, 2017]

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