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Japanese gov't to disclose 'tell-all' file over document tampering scandal

Toshio Akagi is seen in this photo provided by his family.
A land lot where Moritomo Gakuen was planning to open an elementary school is seen from a Mainichi Shimbun helicopter, in Toyonaka, Osaka Prefecture, in February 2020. (Mainichi)

OSAKA -- The Japanese government on May 6 admitted to the existence of documents detailing the development of events surrounding the doctoring of records related to the heavily discounted sale of state land to nationalist school operator Moritomo Gakuen, and indicated it will disclose them in June.

    The documents were created by Toshio Akagi, a then employee of the Ministry of Finance's Kinki Local Finance Bureau, who later took his own life at age 54 claiming that he was forced to be involved in the tampering of ministry papers that approved the high-profile property sale.

    Akagi's wife, Masako Akagi, subsequently filed a damages suit against the national government and other parties, and demanded that the documents be released. The government, however, had previously refused to disclose whether the document file exists or not.

    In a written response submitted to his wife on May 6, the government recognized the presence of the documents that Akagi is said to have recorded at his workplace, and suggested that it will disclose the papers, lawyers representing Akagi's wife revealed.

    In the written statement, the government explained that it will submit the documents during oral proceedings in court on June 23. In regard to the extent of content disclosure, the state said it "plans to cover up as little as possible."

    The papers, called "Akagi file," are said to contain the detailed contents of instructions given by the Finance Ministry and the Kinki Local Finance Bureau over falsification of records relating to the property sale, as well as comparisons of descriptions in the documents before and after the doctoring, among other information.

    In February this year, Akagi's 50-year-old wife filed a request with the Osaka District Court that it order the state to submit the file, maintaining that the papers are indispensable in establishing the mental distress that her husband suffered.

    (Japanese original by Shiho Matsumoto, Osaka City News Department)

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