The House of Councillors' Budget Committee agreed on Tuesday afternoon to summon Sagawa, and the equivalent committee in the House of Representatives is set to adopt the same agreement on Thursday, following a public holiday on Wednesday.
Sagawa served as director-general of the Finance Ministry's Financial Bureau when officials there falsified at least 14 approved documents related to the leasing and eventual sale of state-owned land to Moritomo Gakuen.
While vowing to thoroughly investigate the protracted and still-unfolding scandal to definitively explaine why the documents related to the dubious sale were deliberately altered, Abe admitted that a recent plunge in support ratings were of serious concern.
Smoldering for a year, the scandal re-erupted last week after Finance Ministry officials acknowledged tampering with land deal documents, including deleting references to first lady Akie Abe, following a newspaper report in early March.
Mitsuru Ota, Sagawa's successor as Financial Bureau director-general, said during Diet deliberations that the rewriting of documents was conducted to avoid any misunderstandings from Sagawa's past statements in the Diet.
"In fact, I didn't even know that they existed at all, so how could I have done that?"
During his testimony, Kagoike claimed the school received a 1 million yen ($9,400) donation from the prime minister through Akie Abe, although the Abes denied it.
Key ex-bureaucrat in document scandal to testify in Diet on March 27
But Kotaro Tatsumi of the Japanese Communist Party said that "there is no way a public employee would do something so outrageous without being directed to do so or expecting some benefit". "There's no way Aso can avoid resigning".
Opposition lawmakers alleged that the tempering, which started soon after Abe stated in parliament in mid-February past year that he would step down if any proof of his or his wife's involvement was found, might have been aimed at protecting Abe. Many opposition lawmakers have suggested this declaration sent ministry bureaucrats scrambling to delete evidence of such involvement.
On Monday, Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan lawmaker Tetsuro Fukuyama accused Abe of betraying parliament for almost a year. Aso on Tuesday again denied that anyone acted "in accordance with [Abe's] wishes".
"The Abe government's attitude is entirely called into question", Fukuyama said.
Playing along seems to be the only way forward for the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.
Agreeing that Sagawa is a "key player" in the scandal, the secretaries general and Diet affairs chiefs of the LDP and Komeito on Tuesday accepted the opposition's insistence that Sagawa gives testimony at both the Upper and Lower houses' Budget Committee sessions on Tuesday. The LDP is due to hold a leadership vote in September. Roughly 3,000 LDP partisans from around Japan gather Sunday for the party's annual convention. Given the risk of perjury charges for false testimony, he may decide to provide only vague responses. The tampering is under criminal investigation by prosecutors.More news: Texas A&M Aggies vs. Michigan Wolverines Free Preview 03/22/18
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