Crucial documents on Japan land sale scandal to be released, PM Shinzo Abe’s reelection dubious

Crucial documents on Japan land sale scandal to be released, PM Shinzo Abe’s reelection dubious

These documents, previously censored by the Ministry of Finance, were supposed to make details of the ongoing land sale scandal accessible five days ago.

Today, opposition party members to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party will be eagerly awaiting the release of important Moritomo Gakuen documents. These documents, previously censored by the Ministry of Finance, were supposed to make details of the ongoing land sale scandal accessible five days ago.

The Abe administration is currently under fire for delaying its address to this scandal, in which the Kinki Local Finance bureau sold land at a heavily discounted price to a pro-Abe school operator, before the incumbent Diet’s session ends on June 20. The Finance Ministry is seeking to prosecute those implicated, including former National Tax Agency Commissioner Nobuhisa Sagawa, who resigned from post on March 9 over the alteration of these records.

Pushing forward with the investigation will inevitably influence Abe’s popularity. With polls detecting a declining approval rating since February, Abe may be seeing the end to his party leadership ahead of internal elections coming in September. He could regain credibility in the public eye if he succeeds in other policy arenas, such as economic relations with US, but he does not have much time.