politics

Finance Ministry admits altering land sale documents, removing name of Abe's wife

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Stand down Aso.

Stand down Abe.

22 ( +24 / -2 )

Corruption is inevitably going to arise in any country where a single party remains in control of the government for 70 years running. Abe is himself the grandson of a PM, and nearly 40% of Diet members have gotten into office on their fathers' coattails. A single party "democracy" with an extremely weak opposition lacks the sorts of checks and balances needed to keep governments honest, or even responsive.

23 ( +24 / -1 )

The admission, which came amid growing pressure from opposition parties, could increase calls for Finance Minister Taro Aso, a key Abe ally, to resign to take responsibility over the matter, dealing a blow to the prime minister, who came back to power in late 2012.

Resign? I wish. Either way he will be rotated into another government position. Send and keep him away please.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

PTownsendToday  12:51 pm JST

Stand down Aso.

Stand down Abe.

Hear! Hear!

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Abe has said he would resign if either he or his wife were directly involved. These are on the record quotes.

Be a man of your word.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

New faces..PM, FM...Spring is just around the corner...!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Cue the Doors, “This is the end....”

It will be interesting to see how this pans out and who takes the wrap for it. Abe and Aso are just gonna keep denying everything and someone will stick their head on the block for them.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

“the names of several politicians were erased in the version later disclosed to Diet members.”

so who else had their snouts in the trough? Won’t hold my breath waiting to find out.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Abe survived this scandal once, and doesn't seem to be in a position where he would be forced to resign (unless pushed really hard by the LDP).

Aso will not resign unless Abe does it first, I think. The guy praised Hitler and said countless stupidities without repercussions, so he's basically bullet-proof.

On the other hand, they won't be able to use North Korea as a diversion...

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Abe survived this scandal once, and doesn't seem to be in a position where he would be forced to resign (unless pushed really hard by the LDP).

He hasn't "survived" the scandal, it was on the back burner simmering for the past few months. The "heat" is getting turned up now and rightfully so.

As the chinks start showing in Abe's armor his poll numbers will begin falling and the sharks will start circling the prey, Abe and Aso.

The media needs to keep pressing this issue, and keep digging on the University scandal, and the "fat-lady" will be smart to start warming up the vocal cords!

6 ( +8 / -2 )

This stinks.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Easier to think of Japanese politics as one tribe, with multiple factions.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Look how concerned he appears in the picture.  Tells you that this is going nowhere.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Unfortunately nothing ever seems to stick to Teflon Abe. I predict he survives this scandal as well.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

As the chinks start showing in Abe's armor his poll numbers will begin falling and the sharks will start circling the prey

Exactly what happened before, and we've all seen what happened : Abe brandished the threat of North Korea, called for a new election and got out of it stronger than ever.

As much as I'd like to see these two gone, why would this time be different ?

Maybe some heads will fall, but at the moment it's still a bit of a stretch to say Abe is done.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Corruption is inevitably going to arise in any country where a single party remains in control of the government for 70 years running. 

Perhaps, but I can think of at least one major country that seems do rather well in terms of scandals and corruption despite alternation between two major political parties.

Stand down Aso.

Stand down Abe.

You do understand don't you that in a Westminster style parliamentary regime such as that of Japan, if Abe stands down, the replacement PM will be chosen by a contest within the LDP? Have you looked at those who might replace Abe?

I'm a believer in the devil you know is better than the devil you don't know.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

“the names of several politicians were erased in the version later disclosed to Diet members.”

so who else had their snouts in the trough? Won’t hold my breath waiting to find out.

Per another English paper:

Several lawmakers who were also mentioned in the original documents — former trade minister Takeo Hiranuma, LDP veteran Yoshitada Konoike, former Upper House lawmaker Issei Kitagawa and the late Kunio Hatoyama, former internal affairs minister — were also deleted.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Impeachable offense to lie in public, in parliament.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

An online article attached to the original version, which said Akie was "moved to tears by the school's education policy" when she visited the nationalist school operator, was also erased in the papers later disclosed to Diet members.

I wonder why this was removed since it was already in the public domain. I watched the disgusting spectacle of the PM's wife being moved to tears when watching small children being brainwashed to hate China and revere Abe.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

All of them Nippon Kaigi. Don't see that mentioned. After all the Osaka school principal was the chapter president and the school was based on the groups manifesto. These peoples loyalty is to a group not the nation.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

Those Prosecutors in Japan are probably also on the payroll of the LDP, now lets guess what names they will find exept Mr. Scapegoat and a couple of bonus small fish who usullye type what the big(untouchable)boss ordered.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

So now they admit that Abe's wife was involved, despite Abe's repeated lies claiming she wasn't. Abe will have to go. I hope they can dig up the video of him promising to resign if his wife was involved. Keep showing it until he keeps his promise.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Someone mentioned better the devil you know but this time, I don't think so; I don't think Abe will survive this. However, any ideas on who might / will replace him?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

8億1900円 to 1億3400円 ...a discount of 6億8500円…that’s cheating taxpayers of some 550 million US Dollars.

No jail. This is Japan. You just bow. But deeply.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

5.5 million

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@quercetum.

thanks for info on deleted politician's names.

All well documented as Nippon Kaigi revisionist nut jobs.

Anyone surprised?

14 ( +14 / -0 )

As much as I'd like to see these two gone, why would this time be different ?

Because Abe can't call an election again, and he can't play games with the NK card either as he has been "Trumped" on that front.

So, what he needs is for the media to focus on something else, and as long as things are quite with NK, and there are no natural disasters requiring his "attention" the microscope will stay focused on this scandal.

Aso as Finance minister should be the one to take the fall, but as he is tied to Abe, if one goes, so does the other!

8 ( +10 / -2 )

If Akie is involved, then Abe is finished. Akie is Abe's wife and this shows how corrupted Abe is.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Abe-san is lucky this is Japan and not South Korea. They crucify all their leaders...

5 ( +7 / -2 )

956 million yen, $9 million, is not small amount. In any country, it is a big crime. I don't know how long Abe has to be jailed for that amount.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

you mean they lied??? no!!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Old Abe is going to need an extra layer of teflon to dodge this one. In saying that, its hard to see much of an alternative PM in the LDP and no other party has a prayer. I cant see the establishment in the LDP pushing Abe to leave. He does quite well on the international stage and there is no doubt Japans fortunes in general have been rising since he has been PM.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Because Abe can't call an election again, and he can't play games with the NK card either as he has been "Trumped" on that front.

But he's also at his most powerful point in his career. As written in the article, prosecutors are looking into it, but if nothing happens I think he can just wait for the storm to pass.

Also, as he wants to continue with his extremely unpopular consumption tax hike, I don't think he cares what the polls say.

We'll see what happens, but I won't hold my breath.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

4 people should be in prison. Wonder who?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Not the one who was already dead.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

"group supporting the conservative lobby organization Nippon Kaigi,"

Nippon Kaigi is all about extremely right-wing views. It is a fascist organization. Mr. Abe and Taro Aso are unfortunately members of that group. Too bad. This group of people in post-war Japan has suffered from the need to repudiate the lessons of WW II. The group wants to say that Japan did no wrong in its bloody invasion of Asia. Japan is unfortunate to have to live with this view in the form of her PM. While it is easy to ignore the megalomaniacal PM from the outside, Mr. Abe's running of the country means that the Japanese will continue to suffer from his insane economic stimulations to achieve high economic growth in a declining population. Mr. Abe's rhetorics also prevents Japan from closely collaborating its neighbors since the belief of Nippon Kaigi is inherently racially biased. Voila, this type of thinking leads to the slow decline of a sophisticated and technically talented people and country that was much admired before War II and before the likes of Messrs. Koizumi and Abe. (In 2014, 289 of the 480 Japanese National Diet members, and 15 of the 19 government ministers were members of Nippon Kaigi)

15 ( +16 / -1 )

Cue the following words and expressions: regrettable, misunderstanding, we will investigate thoroughly, we shall consider a plan to discuss what actions to take to prevent a repetition, the responsible person no longer works here...

Caught in the act-101

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Same old same old. I don't see what's so different about this scandal that will topple anyone, sadly. Poor guy who hung himself though, no news about him

3 ( +3 / -0 )

econstatsToday  04:24 pm JST

"8億1900円 to 1億3400円 ...a discount of 6億8500円…that’s cheating taxpayers of some 550 million US Dollars."

But in a America:

So there's corruption elsewhere too, and on a grander scale. I'm sure there are also articles about in online that you can post comments on, but here it's totally irrelevant.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Finance Ministry asked the family of the deceased public service worker not to release the contents of his suicide note...why would they do that? Do they need to alter it first?

11 ( +11 / -0 )

econstats I see that you have quietly dropped, "the opposition are grasping at straws" routine in favor of irrelevant deflection. In truth, that's the best hope for Abe too.

Do the new documents show anything?

???????????????

Answer from the the Japanese press:

The probe found that the alterations did not distort the basic facts of the deal.

In other words, Abe did no wrong.

As for his wife:

The press is reporting the following:

"Akie Abe had recommended that the project "move forward because it is a good plot of land." and

"An online article attached to the original version, which said Akie Abe was "moved to tears by the school's education policy""

No Smoking Gun buddy!

The Opposition has nothing on Abe and they know it.

-12 ( +1 / -13 )

Why no intention to stand down? He broke the law? Who does he think he is? Both OUT!

7 ( +8 / -1 )

econstatsToday  05:25 pm JST

Answer from the the Japanese press:

The probe found that the alterations did not distort the basic facts of the deal.

In other words, Abe did no wrong.

No. In other words, whatever Abe might or might not have done cannot be inferred from the documents available. We still just have his word that he wasn't involved - you can believe him if you like but I don't think his word is worth the paper it's written on.

As for his wife:

The press is reporting the following:

"Akie Abe had recommended that the project "move forward because it is a good plot of land." and

"An online article attached to the original version, which said Akie Abe was "moved to tears by the school's education policy""

No Smoking Gun buddy!

Being rather selective in your quotes there, aren't you?

8 ( +8 / -0 )

'Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said he saw no need for Aso to resign, telling a press conference Aso "should lead a thorough investigation by the ministry to get to the bottom of" the scandal. The top spokesman pledged that the government will "deal seriously with" the issue.'

TIJ. I just KNEW this paragraph would appear in there somewhere. ASO is being told he needs to head an investigation into his own Ministry, which he previously claimed covered nothing up? Why not just have Abe head the investigation with him, and his wife be on the investigative panel for "fairness and transparency"?

econostats: "California taxpayers are getting phucked out of 13 BILLION US DOLLARS!"

So, in order to deflect because you're embarrassed about how wrong you were about the opposition having nothing, you're going to talk about OTHER corruption (while saying there is none in this case) in completely unrelated areas and nations?

10 ( +10 / -0 )

I guess Abe's promise to resign was another "Abe vow".

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Why would a PMs wife who holds no office other than First Lady be in contact with the Finance Ministry on a Land sale. And what about these other big LDP players being mentioned in the sales paper work. Aso being in charge of any investigation would make sence if it were in Manga format.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Abe told reporters in his office the document falsification could erode public trust in the entire government and he feels responsible

Yes it could, and yes you are.

Go.

And take Aso with you.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

cleo,

Complete agreement:

Go.

And take Aso with you.

There is MUCH underneath this scandal. Much more than you would believe. Including at least one "suicide."

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Let us hope this the end of Abe and his gang. However the LDP might succeed in pushing this scandal under the tatami, Abe has lost his respect in the international community. The world is sneering at Abe. And if his premiership survives the sneers will go to Japan as a whole.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Old Akie will be hitting the bottle hard again tonight. A vile couple but since money and political pedigree talks in this country they won't be dropped into the same bottomless pit as the Kagoikes.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Abe indicated he sees no need for his key ally, who also serves as deputy prime minister, to resign, by saying he hopes Aso would lead efforts to "look into why such a thing happened" to regain public confidence.

Soooo we are still pretending we had nothing to do with it then?

Aaaaand why exactly would any finance Ministry employee change anything on any official document unless it came from the top? Aso has no need to investigate. If he had a drop of honourable and honest blood flowing through his veins (impossible for a career politician) he would tell everyone that he knows exactly how it occurred.

The Finance Ministry has blatantly lied time and time again and provided falsified documents to the Diet. Why haven’t the police raided the entire ministry yet and locked up its senior management including the man responsible for the entire ministry?

What a total farce! No better than a bunch of gangsters!

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Abe is trying to pretend to sleep through it, but he’s sweating bullets!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

i really want to know 50 years later what was this Abe administration. I don't think this Kagoike one could be the focus of all the scandals to be disclosed soon. Much more of Akie plots behind the scenes, just to check her life overview: Akie is regarded as a socialite. She is from a wealthy Japanese family; her father is the former president of Morinaga & Co., one of Japan's largest confectionery companies. She is very involved behind the scenes working for her husband reputation and leading him all of what will be happening soon...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Pathetic and disgraceful. I am sure if the hold election today Abe will come again. Japanese people accept the corruption of ruling party. Same party for 7 decades. Its like a kingdom or a dictatorship. With no one to challenge, it is bound to be corrupt.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

akie's involvement is a smoke and mirrors sideshow.

follow the deleted named lawmakers Nippon Kaigi links.

This is a mysoginistic culture.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

hit the road jack/s

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Old privileged men who are shocked that their crimes are under question. They have never been before had their actions questioned like this. A government department lied as did senior ministers the state of affairs is worthy of a 3rd world nation at best.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Oops, got caught with their fingers in the cookie jar! Political our run amok !

1 ( +1 / -0 )

chugmagagaToday  09:47 pm JST

Japanese people accept the corruption of ruling party. 

Not necessarily - the election system is set up so that it doesn't really matter what the majority of Japanese people think. It would help if a few more of them could stop being so apathetic and get out and vote, though.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

DukeletoToday  09:12 pm JST

What a total farce! No better than a bunch of gangsters!

Actual gangsters might be more competent than these clueless 3rd or 4th generation born to rule numbskulls.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The government has been fooling you, Japan! If you let the current administration continue even after this, then I don’t know what’s in your head, Japan.

These are clear signs of cronyism, and corruption. Japan, you can’t accept the apology. An apology is no guarantee for this not happening again. Off with Abe once and for all!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Abe has done a good job over the last 2 terms and hope to see him in power for another term. Before he was president PM changed like diapers leaving Japan in a weak state on the world stage, and weak back home. Those who want to see him fall as PM does not have the best interests of Japan at heart and is ignoring all the positive things that he accomplished so far.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Some of you need to see a video of Abe with a shovel digging and removing the garbage at Moritomo before admitting he was involved. Even then the best you can come up with is, eh look at California.

Moritomo Gakuen claimed that there were thousands of tons of waste buried in the state-owned land.

It turns out that the total amount of waste actually removed from the site was 194 tons, only about 1 percent of the tonnage claimed to have existed there.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

5.5 million

That's a small price to pay if it ensures that potentially thousands of kids don't grow up to be nation-wrecking liberals like in the West. In the long run far more taxpayer money will actually be saved by avoiding costly liberal policies like accepting economic migrants under the guise of refugees.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Abe has done a good job over the last 2 terms and hope to see him in power for another term. Before he was president PM changed like diapers leaving Japan in a weak state on the world stage, and weak back home. Those who want to see him fall as PM does not have the best interests of Japan at heart and is ignoring all the positive things that he accomplished so far.

What, other than increase the debt burden on our great-grandchildren, forget about the refugees within his own country, spend literally billions upon billions in foreign ODA aid packages, ignore the people and keep on pushing for changes to the constitution that nobody but him and his cronies want and a host of other things actually DONE for the good of the country?

Oh right, he got to do some co-play as Mario in Rio.

Abe only has Abe at heart, and screw the rest of the country!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

AlexBecuToday  04:06 am JST

Abe has done a good job over the last 2 terms and hope to see him in power for another term.

It's interesting that comments like this are always short on detail about what Abe has actually achieved.

Before he was president PM changed like diapers leaving Japan in a weak state on the world stage, and weak back home. 

Now that this scandal has flared up again Japan is a laughing stock on the world stage. A good job? Yeah, right.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Here is something folks should NEVER forget about when talking about Abe and his so-called "accomplishments" He SHOULD be ashamed, but he just kicks these people under the bus and conveniently forgets!

As of Feb. 13, over 53,000 of the 73,000 evacuees were living in government-funded temporary housing or public or private rental housing across the country, while nearly 20,000 were living with relatives or acquaintances, according to the Reconstruction Agency. The remaining 271 are hospital patients.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

No surprise this is back in the news now the threat from North Korea has temporarily subsided.

Aso is 78 this year. He’s past retirement age, even if he doesn’t want to take responsibility

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So there we have it, the crooks that run this country do with impunity. Aso really should go, it's his ministry after all and if he isn't aware that his ministry are committing fraud then he obviously isn't up to the job. I suspect that he did know though, so he should be sacked.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

So, Aso didn’t know what his staff were doing, making him incompetent.

Or he did know, authorised it and lied about it. Either way, not a good outcome for Aso, and by extension Abe.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Go Abe go.... how can people trust this administration when they can do such thing?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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