• Reuters, Kyodo, Staff Report


Finance Minister Taro Aso was fighting for his political survival Tuesday as a growing cronyism scandal that has paralyzed the Diet threatened to divide the ruling party and deal a potentially devastating blow to the Abe administration.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Aso, his close ally, are under pressure over the Finance Ministry’s admission that it had made dozens of deletions to 14 documents related to the shady 2016 sale of state land to nationalist school operator Moritomo Gakuen, which has ties to Abe’s wife, Akie, between late February 2017 and April the same year, weeks after the heavily discounted sale was first reported.

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