The Japanese government has disclosed a file left by an official in the regional office of the Ministry of Finance who committed suicide. The disclosure was in response to his widow’s request.
The file is said to contain details of how the official was ordered to forge documents related to the sale of state-owned land to a school operator despite his strong protest.
Akagi Toshio, an official at the ministry’s regional office in Osaka, committed suicide in 2018.
His widow, Akagi Masako, seeks damages from the government and from a former boss of her husband. She also asked for the disclosure of the file that her husband had left at his workplace.
She received the file after it was delivered to her attorney’s office in Osaka on Tuesday morning.
In the 518-page dossier, Akagi writes that he strongly protested to the ministry that the original documents not be revised.
He writes that he will record the process of events because he is not convinced by the ministry’s explanation that he will bear full responsibility for the changes.
Akagi made a list of who gave what instructions and when, and how the regional office responded. The file includes ministry emails as well as original and revised documents. It is believed he included them to substantiate his case.
Akagi Masako said it was heartbreaking to see her husband’s handwriting and to think how much he must have been in pain.
She also said she believed her husband had fulfilled his duty as a public servant by leaving the file to the public. She said she would take the documents as her last words and read them carefully.
Finance Minister Aso Taro, who is also deputy prime minister, declined to comment on details of the case, citing a court hearing on Wednesday in which oral arguments are to be presented by the ministry.
The ministry leaked the file with the names of some masked officials.
Aso said this was done to protect the privacy of individuals and ensure the security of information and that the ministry had already explained this to the court.
He said the ministry would deal with the matter sincerely in accordance with court procedures. He also said the finance ministry had exhausted its investigation into the forgery issue and would not re-investigate.