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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 March 18 - 24  > Opposition parties set up taskforce team to reinvestigate ‘Moritomo’ scandal
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2020 March 18 - 24 TOP3 [POLITICS]

Opposition parties set up taskforce team to reinvestigate ‘Moritomo’ scandal

March 19, 2020

The Japanese Communist Party and other opposition parties on March 18 held a press conference in the Diet building to announce that they have set up a taskforce team to reinvestigate the “Moritomo” scandal.

The announcement was made in reaction to the filing of a damage lawsuit against the state by the wife of an ex-Finance Ministry official who killed himself after being forced to doctor official documents related to the scandal.

The core issue underlying the “Moritomo” scandal is the fact that Prime Minister Abe Shinzo and his wife, Akie, allegedly exercised their influence to help the Moritomo Gakuen school corporation receive an astonishingly huge discount when buying national land.

The reinvestigation team is headed by Kawauchi Hiroshi of the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (Lower House). Team members include JCP lawmakers Daimon Mikishi (Upper House) and Shimizu Tadafumi (LH) as well as Dietmembers of the Democratic Party for the People and the Social Democratic Party.

At the press conference, Kawauchi said that the late Finance Ministry official left a suicide note stating that Sagawa Nobuhisa, who was the ministry’s financial bureau chief at that time, ordered him to alter official documents. Kawauchi added that the ministry’s investigation report did not acknowledge that Sagawa gave such an order. He said that it all started with PM Abe’s statement in a Diet meeting that if Abe or his wife are found to have been involved in the bargain sale of national land, he will step down as the prime minister and as a Dietmember. Noting that prompted by PM Abe’s remark, the Finance Ministry began forging the official documents, Kawauchi stressed, “The whole blame lies with Abe.”

JCP Shimizu said, “An honest worker committed suicide because of his feeling of guilt for falsifying official records. In contrast, those who should take responsibility for the illegal acts were promoted. Such an unjustness should be rectified. The JCP will work together with other opposition parties to reveal the whole truth behind the scandal.”

Past related articles:
> Koike: Sagawa falls far short of providing answers regarding ‘Moritomo’ scandal [March 28, 2018]
> PM Abe's statements to Diet trigger doctoring of 'Moritomo'-related official records [March 14, 2018]
> JCP Yamashita demands summoning of witnesses over state land acquisition scandal [March 6, 2017]
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