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Criminal complaint filed against Akie Abe, aide over Moritomo Gakuen

The site of an elementary school Moritomo Gakuen had planned to open in April 2017 is seen in Toyonaka, Osaka Prefecture. (Mainichi)

OSAKA -- A Takamatsu, Kagawa Prefecture man has filed a criminal complaint against Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's wife Akie and her government-assigned aide, claiming that they leaked state budget details to Osaka-based school operator Moritomo Gakuen.

The Takamatsu man, who puts out news on politics and economics online and other media, filed the complaint dated April 18 with the special investigation unit at the Osaka District Public Prosecutors Office, accusing Akie Abe and her aide of breaching confidentiality provisions of the National Public Service Act. The prosecutors' office is mulling whether it should accept the complaint.

Scandal-rocked Moritomo Gakuen signed a lease contract for a state-owned land lot in the Osaka Prefecture city of Toyonaka with the government in 2015, and subsequently carried out work to remove waste from the site and decontaminate the soil. Moritomo Gakuen demanded 131.76 million yen from the government for the cost of the work, and the government transferred the funds to the school operator in April 2016.

In November 2015, Akie's aide wrote in a fax message to Moritomo Gakuen Chairman Yasunori Kagoike that the refund for the land improvement work was being "arranged within the framework of the fiscal 2016 budget" -- information the aide acquired from the Finance Ministry.

The Takamatsu man pointed out in the complaint that the aide leaked information that was learned through their official duties. He also claimed that, since the fax message said Akie Abe had been informed of the matter, she took advantage of her status as the prime minister's wife to suggest the aide disclose the information.

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