Shinzo Abe, Japan’s prime minister, with lawmakers in Tokyo on Thursday. Mr. Abe’s popularity has been declining as reports have indicated that documents relating to a land deal were altered. Credit Kazuhiro Nogi/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

TOKYO — prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan offered to esign a ear go if vidence emerged inking him to a weetheart and deal. No such vidence ever urfaced, llowing him to ride out the scandal and hang on to ower.

But a overnment eport eleased on Monday uggests that some crucial vidence may have been deleted — and that has put Mr. Abe back in the ot eat. An nternal nvestigation by the Finance Ministry oncluded that unidentified officials tampered with 公fficial 文ocuments elated to the and deal by deleting eferences to Mr. Abe’s ife and senior embers of his arty.

The findings caused an proar in Japan, where ritics alled for the 蔵inance

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