Japan's communications minister has acknowledged the authenticity of leaked internal papers at the center of a growing political firestorm. The opposition camp says they clearly show a former administration attempted to influence the media.
Communications Minister Matsumoto Takeaki said, "We have confirmed the papers in question are all official documents put together by the communications ministry."
Last week, Konishi Hiroyuki of the Constitutional Democratic Party said he had obtained communications ministry documents from nearly a decade ago when Abe Shinzo was prime minister.
Konishi says they show a close aide of the former leader pressuring public servants to change the interpretation of Japan's broadcast law.
The controversy also involves current economic security minister Takaichi Sanae. She served as communications minister under Abe, and is accused of discussing the matter with her ex-boss.
She flatly denies the allegations, and even said she would resign if the papers are proven to be genuine.
The leak also includes conversations between senior ministry officials and one of Abe's advisors, who said some TV programs should be deemed to have violated the law.
Matsumoto says the ministry hasn't been able to verify all of the contents.
And Takaichi maintains the allegations are fake.
Takaichi said, "I made no such phone calls, nor did I discuss such things with Prime Minister Abe."
The opposition camp is not convinced.
Konishi said, "It's threatening to think Japan's state powers can meddle with broadcasting at any time."
CDP officials vow to investigate further.