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Opposition party exec moves to file criminal complaint accusing Nobuhisa Sagawa of perjury in Moritomo testimony

JIJI

An opposition party plans to ask other parties to back the filing a criminal complaint against former Finance Ministry official Nobuhisa Sagawa, accusing him of committing perjury in the Diet while testifying about the document-tampering in the Moritomo Gakuen scandal, a lawmaker said Sunday.

Tetsuro Fukuyama, secretary-general of the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, said some of Sagawa’s Diet testimony can be regarded as perjury. He did not clarify which part he was referring to.

Filing a criminal complaint over a perjury allegation requires majority support.

In March, Sagawa, the former director-general of the ministry’s Financial Bureau and ex-commissioner of the National Tax Agency, appeared before the budget committees of both Diet chambers to testify as a sworn witness on ministry bureaucrats’ doctoring of official documents on the heavily discounted sale of state land to Moritomo Gakuen, the nationalist school operator linked to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s wife, Akie.

On a TV program Sunday, Fukuyama called for further Diet scrutiny of the cronyism scandals involving Moritomo Gakuen and Kake Gakuen (Kake Educational Institution), an entity headed by Abe’s longtime friend Kotaro Kake.

“We need to squeeze out all the pus,” Fukuyama said.

Akira Koike, head of the secretariat of the Japanese Communist Party, demanded that Kake and Abe’s wife both give sworn Diet testimony.

Masahiko Shibayama, chief deputy secretary-general of Abe’s conservative ruling Liberal Democratic Party, only said that a proper investigation is needed.