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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 February 14 - 20  > Taxpayers: Tax agency head who gives false testimony in Diet should be ousted!
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2018 February 14 - 20 [ECONOMY]

Taxpayers: Tax agency head who gives false testimony in Diet should be ousted!

February 17, 2018
“Get rid of the tax administration head who lies to the Diet!”, “We don’t want to pay taxes either!” - taxpayers’ outcries echoed throughout Japan on February 16, the day Japan’s tax filing season started.

National Tax Agency chief Sagawa Nobuhisa, together with Prime Minister Abe’s wife Akie, are recognized as key persons in the scandal over the national land sale to the Moritomot Gakuen school corporation.

In 2016, when the state-owned land was sold to Moritomo Gakuen at an extraordinarily huge discount, Sagawa was the head of the Finance Ministry’s Finance Bureau which oversees the sales of state-owned land, including the one in question. In the 2017 ordinary Diet session, in response to questioning by opposition parties, Sagawa repeatedly claimed that all documents pertaining to the ministry’s negotiations with Moritomo were discarded. In the current Diet session, however, the existence of those documents was revealed.

The nationwide protests on February 16 were called for by local civil groups across Japan which work to have the Abe government make public the truth behind the Moritomo scandal.

In Tokyo, holding placards that read, “Summon PM Abe’s wife and Sagawa to the Diet!” and “Lying tax agency chief must resign!”, 1,500 people, including pensioners and small business owners, assembled in front of the Tax Agency office building and marched in demonstration through Ginza, Tokyo’s busiest shopping district.

Japanese Communist Party lawmakers Miyamoto Takeshi and Tatsumi Kotaro took part in the rally along with parliamentarians from the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, the Democratic Party, the Social Democratic Party, the Party of Hope, and the Liberal Party.

JCP Miyamoto in the recent Diet meeting presented complete audio data regarding the land-sale negotiations. He argued for the need to have Sagawa give testimony under oath in the Diet.

A 76-year-old participant said, “When we file our tax returns, we are required by the law to submit all the necessary documents, including receipts, with the tax return form. Nevertheless, the tax authority chief proclaimed that documents evidencing the land sale with the Moritomo Gakuen case were abandoned. I’m appalled.”

Similar protests took place in various locations in Japan on the same day.

In Sapporo’s action, a male union activist said, “In South Korea, people forced the former president who treated her friend with favoritism to resign. We have to work hard to bring down the PM Abe regime which promotes cronyism.”

Past related articles:
> Finance Ministry confirms voice data regarding huge discount scenario of land deal for Moritomo [November 29, 2017]
> Abe’s wife-associated school corporation gets national land at exceptionally low price [February 11, 2017]
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