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  Japan: Shinzo Abe's political future in doubt as wife linked to cronyism scandal
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ContributorIndyGeorgia 
Last EditedIndyGeorgia  Mar 12, 2018 08:37pm
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CategoryScandal
AuthorDaniel Hurst
News DateMonday, March 12, 2018 06:00:00 AM UTC0:0
DescriptionA spiralling cronyism scandal linked to the Japanese prime minister and his wife has reached fever pitch after the finance ministry admitted to tampering with records to remove references to the pair.

Shinzo Abe acknowledged the new revelations “could undermine trust in the entire government” and added: “I deeply apologise to the people.”

The prime minister had previously said he would resign if he or his wife were shown to be involved in heavily cutting the price of public land sold to a right-wing school operator in Osaka.

The finance ministry admitted on Monday that it had altered official documents surrounding the decision to provide an 85% discount on the appraised value of the land.

One document originally quoted the educational group Moritomo Gakuen as saying that Abe’s wife Akie had recommended the primary school project “move forward because it is a good plot of land”. However, this was removed in a version submitted to lawmakers investigating the sale.

Kyodo News reported that the submitted papers also omitted an article in which Akie described being “moved to tears by the school’s education policy”.

Likewise, officials scrubbed a reference to Shinzo Abe’s support for Nippon Kaigi, a conservative lobby group to which the then head of the school organisation was also linked.
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