TOKYO, March 14 2018 : Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe today 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.
Suspicion of a cover-up could slash Abe’s 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 Japan’s longest-serving premier.
“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 today.
Abe has said he would resign if evidence were found that they had.
According to the ministry documents, a comment from Moritomo Gakuen citing Akie Abe as telling him, “This is good land so please proceed,” was removed. Yasunori Kagoike, the former head of Moritomo Gakuen, and his wife remain in custody after being arrested last July over the deal.
Abe and Aso told parliament they had never instructed officials at the finance ministry to alter the documents. – Reuters