Diet meeting land sale scandal

Sagawa was summoned as a Diet meeting witness to testify about the details regarding the tampering of documents related to the sale of government-owned property in Osaka Prefecture to nationalist school operator Moritomo Gakuen. As head of the Finance Ministry’s Financial Bureau at the time the documents were altered, everyone waited eagerly for his reply.


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The former official, however, repeatedly refused to give comprehensive answers, citing the Osaka District Public Prosecutors Office’s investigation of the case. He also strongly denied the involvement of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in the scandalous sale.


Sagawa arrived at the Diet building in a black Mercedes. He was dressed in a black suit and was immediately moved to the third floor waiting room holding a paper bag filled with reference documents. His face was as nervous as a Chihuahua following an attack of camera flashes.


Last year’s Diet deliberations, Sagawa brushed off questions from opposition parties. He repeatedly said that records of the sale of the land had been “expunged.” This indicates that the government is only responsible for keeping such sensitive documents for less than a year.


When the Mainichi Shimbun learned that a Kinki Local Finance Bureau employee in fact saved the documents as notes, Sagawa was asked again about the inconsistency of his statement from that time and he admitted that he could not confirm the state of the records.


While Sagawa refrained from answering whether he was involved or not in the alteration of the land sale documents, he did ascertain that he was not given any directions by anyone close to the prime minister or Finance Minister.


Finally, when Marukawa concluded her questions with the statement, “You have testified that the prime minister, his wife and the prime minister”s office were not involved with the altering of the documents and land deal. Thank you,” the committee hall erupted in roars of disapproval.


Reference: Abe ‘wasn’t involved’ in doctoring documents, key Moritomo witness Nobuhisa Sagawa tells Diet


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