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Abe contrite over document tampering amid political firestorm

Japanese prime minister still backs embattled finance chief

Abe answers reporters' questions regarding the tampering with land sale documents.

TOKYO -- The Japanese government's admission on Monday that documents linked to a controversial land sale had been altered in a possible cover-up added fuel to a scandal that has long dogged Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, threatening his once-unassailable standing in the ruling party.

The Ministry of Finance acknowledged that 14 documents had been doctored after a steep discount offered to nationalist school operator Moritomo Gakuen in Osaka came to light in February last year. Key passages regarding Abe and his wife, Akie, were deleted in an apparent attempt to underplay the school's political connections to the two.

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