Japan finance ministry confirms death of official in scandal
TOKYO – Japan’s finance ministry has confirmed the death of an official linked to a scandal potentially involving Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s wife.
Ministry officials acknowledged the employee’s death at a parliamentary hearing Friday, but refused to give details. Local media reported the death as a suicide.
Local media reports said the official was involved in the questionable 2016 sale of state land to an ultra-nationalistic school at one-seventh of its appraised price. During the time of the deal, Abe’s wife was the honorary school principal.
Abe and finance officials have denied wrongdoing, though the scandal recently caused parliamentary sessions to grind to a halt.
Separate media reports said the tax agency chief who previously worked on the land deal has expressed his intention to resign. The agency refused to confirm that.