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Key figure in Japan land scandal to testify

Reuters / Share:
Shinzo Abe is on the ropes due to the scandal. AFP / Kazuhiro NOGI

TOKYO (Reuters) – Former Japanese tax agency chief Nobuhisa Sagawa, a key figure in a cronyism scandal that has sparked a political crisis for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, will be summoned to testify in parliament on March 27, a ruling party source said.

Abe’s support ratings have dropped sharply since the finance ministry said it had altered records relating to a discounted sale of state-owned land to school operator Moritomo Gakuen, which had ties to Mr Abe’s wife, Akie.

Opposition lawmakers have been calling for Mr Sagawa, who headed the division that submitted the documents before he became tax agency chief in July, to testify in parliament. Mr Sagawa resigned this month.

Mr Abe and Finance Minister Taro Aso have both denied wrongdoing.

But opposition parties are calling for Mr Aso to resign, while the affair could dash Mr Abe’s hopes of winning a third three-year term as head of his Liberal Democratic Party in a September party leadership election.

Besides Mr Sagawa’s testimony, opposition lawmakers are demanding Ms Akie and other officials testify at parliament.

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