Japanese official denies Abe pressure in school land deal

A former top Japanese finance official has denied that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe or his wife instructed bureaucrats to alter documents to erase signs of their role in a school land sale scandal, but left many key questions unanswered.

Nobuhisa Sagawa apologized in testimony Tuesday over the document tampering at the department he headed last year. The land deal itself was made under his predecessor.

Sagawa, accused of falsifying explanations last year, said he followed scripts prepared by his department and run by the Prime Minister's Office.

Opposition lawmakers criticized Sagawa's silence, demanding Abe's wife, Akie, and others testify.

The scandal relates to the 2016 state land sale to a school operator in Osaka at one-seventh of its appraised price with the alleged involvement of Akie Abe.