Moritomo Gakuen paid $1.2 million last year for a two-acre plot of land that was appraised at $8.4 million. The discount was ostensibly because the land contained buried rubbish and some contamination, although the state reimbursed the organization almost $1.2 million — the same as the sale price — for cleanup costs.
“Didn’t the state give the land away for free?” asked Takeshi Miyamoto, a lawmaker in Japan’s Communist Party.
A neighboring, slightly larger plot of land was sold to the city of Toyonaka to build a park for $12.5 million — 10 times the amount the school paid — in 2010.
Now, the Finance Ministry is saying that it threw out the records on the land negotiation after the deal was concluded, leading opposition politicians to accuse the government of a coverup. The Board of Audit is investigating.
No more records cha cha cha! No collusion cha cha cha!