Tokyo, June 23 (Jiji Press)–The ruling Liberal Democratic Party on Wednesday rejected a demand from the opposition camp to hold parliamentary deliberations on “Akagi file” documents on a high-profile tampering scandal involving the Ministry of Finance.
The demand came after a copy of the scandal documents was delivered on Tuesday to the wife of Toshio Akagi, a former official of the ministry’s Kinki Local Finance Bureau, who killed himself in 2018 after compiling the documents.
The documents show Akagi’s strong protests against instructions from senior ministry officials to alter public records on the sale of a state-owned land plot to school operator Moritomo Gakuen, once linked to former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s wife.
LDP parliamentary affairs chief Hiroshi Moriyama and his counterpart from the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, Jun Azumi, agreed on Wednesday to receive a report from the ministry on the documents at a board meeting of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Financial Affairs on Thursday.
The meeting will be held behind closed doors, and no official records will be made. Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso will not attend.
Speaking to reporters after holding talks with Moriyama, Azumi criticized the LDP’s refusal to have parliamentary deliberations on the documents, saying that the LDP “keeps a lid on anything inconvenient.”
“The point is whether then Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and then Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga (the incumbent prime minister) really gave no instructions” to Nobuhisa Sagawa, then head of the ministry’s financial bureau, who is believed to have been behind the document tampering, Azumi said.
Within the LDP, there are concerns that the scandal documents could have negative implications for the party’s campaign for upcoming elections.
“The document manipulation was a betrayal of the public,” former Defense Minister Gen Nakatani said at a meeting of an LDP faction. “We need to find out the truth.”