Finance Ministry under fire for altering papers

Finance Ministry under fire for altering papers

Japan’s Finance Ministry is under fire for altering documents on a controversial land deal with school operator Moritomo Gakuen.

The ministry admitted to the Diet on Monday that alterations were made to 14 settlement documents after the scandal surfaced in February last year.

The ministry said its Financial Bureau took the initiative in altering the documents last year to ensure consistency with answers given by Nobuhisa Sagawa, then bureau chief, to questions from lawmakers in the Diet.

Sagawa denied in the Diet that there had been prior negotiations with Moritomo over land prices and said there was no political involvement in the deal.

The ministry deleted references to what appeared to be prior price negotiations from original documents, along with the names of several politicians.

It is still unknown why Sagawa repeatedly denied this when he answered questions in the Diet.

The Finance Ministry continues to look into what role Sagawa played in the scandal.

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