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A Finance Ministry official asked Osaka-based school operator Moritomo Gakuen last year to lie about how waste was removed from property it had purchased from the ministry in a controversial deal, a senior official admitted Monday.

The admission by the high-ranking official during a session of the Upper House Audit Committee will deepen suspicion over the heavily discounted land sale to the ultranationalist school operator that once had close ties with Akie Abe, the wife of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

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