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Japan's Finance Ministry admits altering land sale documents

Revived scandal threatens Prime Minister Abe's grip on power

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks to reporters at his office on March 12. (Photo by Masayuki Terazawa)

TOKYO  -- Japan's Ministry of Finance has admitted doctoring documents related to a questionable public land deal, a senior official from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party told reporters on Monday. The involvement of former National Tax Agency chief Nobuhisa Sagawa, who resigned Friday, has also been confirmed.

The scandal linking Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to the sale of publicly owned land to a nationalist private school operator flared up again after 14 documents were found to have been altered by the Finance Ministry. It was found that the name of Abe's wife, Akie, appeared in the original documents but was deleted, sources said. The revelations pose a growing threat to the leader's legislative agenda and grip on power.

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