March 13, 2018 / 6:15 AM / in 8 months

Japan Finance Minister Aso likely to skip G20 meeting: sources

Japan's Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Taro Aso speaks to reporters in Tokyo, Japan March 12, 2018. REUTERS/Toru Hanai/Files

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso is likely to skip the Group of 20 finance leaders’ gathering to be held in Buenos Aires next week, government and ruling party officials said on Tuesday, as a cronyism scandal that has paralysed parliament swirled at home.

Masatsugu Asakawa, Japan’s top financial diplomat, would attend the G20 meeting in Aso’s place if he chose not to go, the sources with knowledge of the plans told Reuters.

Premier Shinzo Abe and Aso, his close ally, are under pressure following the finance ministry’s announcement it had altered records of a discounted sale of state-owned land to a school operator with ties to Abe’s wife.

Reporting by Takashi Umekawa, writing by Leika Kihara; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore

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