Widow of bureaucrat asks PM to investigate Moritomo Gakuen scandal that led to her husband’s suicide


The widow of a finance ministry official, who killed herself for falsifying documents relating to allegations of favoritism against then-prime minister Shinzo Abe, said on Thursday she asked the new Japanese leader Fumio Kishida to re-investigate the case.

Masako Akagi, 50, in a letter sent to Kishida the day before, called for a new third-party investigation to reveal the truth about the 2018 death of her husband Toshio, who was allegedly ordered to change ministry documents in the sharply reduced sales framework. Crown-owned land owned by a private school operator.

Kishida has so far remained reluctant to order a further investigation into the document forgery scandal related to the questionable land transaction with Moritomo Gakuen, the Osaka school operator with ties to Abe’s wife, Akie.

Akagi said at a press conference in Osaka, western Japan on Thursday that she wrote to Kishida because he often insisted that he was “good at listening to people.”

Kishida told reporters the same day in Shizuoka, central Japan, “I did not receive the letter. I will think about what to do after receiving it.

In a report on its investigation into the document forgery scandal in June 2018, the ministry admitted that then head of the National Tax Agency Nobuhisa Sagawa ordered officials to forge and remove parts documents relating to Akie Abe.

But Akagi criticized the report, saying, “It didn’t include my husband’s death. I am not satisfied with it.

Toshio Akagi, 54, who worked at the ministry’s Kinki Local Finance Bureau, suffered severe mental distress before his death in March 2018.

Since the new prime minister was not involved in the scandal, Akagi said she hopes he will address the re-investigation at a press conference after his first political speech in parliament on Friday.

“If he’s listening to me face to face, I want to go right there,” Akagi said.

The previous administrations of Abe and his successor Yoshihide Suga have rejected a new investigation.

Akagi also claimed in the two-page letter that her husband argued at the local office that the forgery should not be carried out and called for an investigation into how the ministry responded to his request.

“I think a society that doesn’t allow people to say what’s right is right is wrong. I think Prime Minister Kishida will understand, ”Akagi said.

The widow sought damages from the state and Sagawa for the death of her husband during a trial in Osaka District Court. She argues that the state is responsible for her husband working over 100 hours a month overtime to forge documents.

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