Justice Minister Mayumi Moriyama was the focus of a Diet row Wednesday over alleged contradictions in her remarks over the death of a prison inmate that the opposition camp slammed as an attempt to cover the scandal up.

Moriyama has fallen into a predicament over her Diet responses regarding the December 2001 death a 43-year-old Nagoya Prison inmate. On Wednesday, the dispute led to demands by four opposition parties — the Democratic Party of Japan, the Liberal Party, the Social Democratic Party and the Japanese Communist Party — for her to step down, as well as threats to boycott Diet deliberations unless the government acts to resolve the matter.

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