Japan PM Abe denies involvement by him, wife in discount land sale

From Reuters - March 13, 2018

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday remained steadfast that he and his wife were not involved in a discount land-sale deal that has seen the opposition call for the resignation of key ally and Finance Minister Taro Aso.

Abe and Aso have come under fresh pressure over the ministrys admission this week that it had altered documents related to the sale of state-owned land at a steep discount to a school operator with ties to Abes wife, Akie.

Suspicion of a cover-up could slash Abes ratings and dash his hopes for a third term as leader of his Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). Victory in the LDP September leadership vote would put him on track to become Japans longest-serving premier.

Copies of documents released by the finance ministry on Monday showed that references to Abe, his wife and Aso were removed from the ministrys records of the sale to school operator Moritomo Gakuen.

When you look at the documents even before they were altered, it is clear that my wife and I were not involved, Abe told an upper house budget committee on Wednesday.


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