Finance Minister forfeits 1 year's ministerial salary
NHK -- Jun 04
Japan's Finance Minister Taro Aso says he will forfeit one year's ministerial salary and take responsibility for his ministry's role in document tampering.

The documents in question relate to the controversial sale of state-owned land to school operator Moritomo Gakuen.

Aso said, "Government officials should never falsify administrative documents, or submit those falsified documents to the Diet. It is extremely regrettable such things happened. And the way officials handled records of negotiations was extremely inappropriate. I deeply apologize."

On Monday, the Finance Ministry released the findings of an in-house investigation. It listed 20 senior bureaucrats who will face disciplinary action.

The report concluded the falsifications were effectively ordered by then-chief of the Financial Bureau, Nobuhisa Sagawa. Sagawa repeatedly defended the Moritomo deal last year. He resigned amid the controversy the ministry plans to deduct money from his pension.

A former subordinate of Sagawa will also be given a suspension, in this case it's for one month. The other officials will face a range of disciplinary action including official warnings and salary deductions.

In 2016, the Finance Ministry sold the land to Moritomo Gakuen, for a fraction of the market value.

The Prime Minister's wife, Akie Abe, was set to be the honorary principal of a new school on the land, sparking allegations of favoritism.

Then this year, the Finance Ministry admitted to the document tampering, including the removal of references to Akie Abe and politicians.

森友学園を巡る文書の改ざん問題で4日、財務省は佐川氏の指示による改ざんだったと認めました。一方、麻生財務大臣は、なぜ改ざんされたのかについては分からないと繰り返している。  麻生財務大臣:「決裁を得た行政文書を改ざんし、それを国会等に提出するようなことは、あってはならないこと。
News sources: NHK, ANNnewsCH
Jan 20
Tickets for all of host-nation Japan's Rugby World Cup 2019 pool games have sold out following the start of sales on a first-come, first-serve basis, organizers said Saturday. (Japan Today)
Jan 20
More than half a million high-school students and graduates across Japan are putting their knowledge to the test at unified college and university entrance exams. (NHK)
Jan 20
A public high school in Machida City has apologized to a boy after the emergence online of a video that purportedly shows a male teacher assaulting him, reports Fuji News Network (
Jan 20
Work began in northeastern Japan on Saturday to tear down a former town hall building where dozens of people died in a tsunami in 2011, despite calls from some residents to preserve it as a memorial. (Japan Today)
Jan 19
The number of suicides in Japan dropped 3.4 percent from a year earlier to 20,598 in 2018, down for the ninth year and the lowest in 37 years amid economic recovery, preliminary data by the National Police Agency showed Friday. (Japan Today)
Jan 19
Japan's Epsilon-4 rocket has put into orbit seven small satellites that were developed by private-sector companies and universities. (NHK)
Jan 19
The body of a man struck by an oncoming train at a station in Fujimi City hit and injured two women on the platform, police said on Friday, reports TV Asahi. (
Jan 19
Kanagawa Prefectural Police are hunting for a gunman who shot the wife of a boss in the Inagawa-kai criminal syndicate and his male driver on a road in Kawasaki City on Thursday, reports TV Asahi (
Jan 18
A work of graffiti found at a Tokyo waterfront is receiving special treatment. (NHK)
Jan 17
A Japanese court has ruled that a subway firm's severe evaluation of personnel with beards or mustaches was unfair, and ordered that damages be paid. (NHK)