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A U.S. attorney who was with the Justice Department at the time of the deadly 1985 Japan Airlines crash in Gunma Prefecture has said Washington pressured Boeing Co. to cooperate with Japan’s investigation, rejecting suspicions across the Pacific that Washington sought to protect the plane maker.

Speaking in her first interview, Linda Candler, who was an international affairs prosecutor with the Justice Department at the time of the crash that claimed 520 lives, said she persuaded Boeing to submit its repair team to voluntary written questioning by Japanese authorities.

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